The St. Joseph County Republican Party is apologizing for the way a county circuit judge candidate behaved at the fair over the weekend, while the candidate maintains he did nothing wrong.
Fair officials said Doug Bernacchi, the Republican candidate for 60th circuit judge, was asked to leave after he got into a heated argument with a GOP volunteer at the group’s faith booth Friday night, July 1.
Bernacchi has insisted in interviews with local media and in posts on social media that he left the fair Friday night after becoming sick from sugary food he bought and ate at the fair.
“We apologize to the St. Joseph County Fair Board,” Roy Saenz, St. Joseph County GOP chairman, said at a press conference Wednesday, our news partners ABC 57 reported. “Any comments made by the candidate in person or online are not a reflective of the party.”
The St. Joseph County GOP still plans to endorse Bernacchi.
Bernacchi tweeted criticisms of the fair on Saturday, encouraging people to avoid the St. Joseph County 4-H Fair “like the plague” because “fairs are not good for children and families.” Those tweets were deleted Wednesday morning.
ABC 57 reached out to Bernacchi for comment on Wednesday, and he responded with a text message saying that he would be working as a lawyer until Labor Day, when he is expected to begin campaigning for the November election.