Libertarian hopeful was accused of assaulting wife in 2005

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hunt was accused by his then-wife of assaulting her in 2005 after she said his attempts to conduct DNA tests on their three children turned violent.

Patricia Hunt said in the June 2005 request for a restraining order that her husband grabbed her from behind and later threw her to the hardwood floor as he struggled for DNA swabs she was holding. Patricia Hunt’s mother, who was also in the room, hit Andrew Hunt with a telephone during the fight, she said in the court filing.

The candidate said in an interview Wednesday that he never physically hurt his wife and does not condone violence against women. He said she fell down while trying to forcibly take the swabs from him and that she filed the restraining order to get an “upper hand in our divorce.”

“It is absolutely a false charge by her,” Andrew Hunt told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I never, ever, hit a woman in my whole life.”

He said both parties soon agreed to dismiss her petition as well as his court response to her request.

Patricia Hunt said Wednesday that she stands behind the statements she made in the 2005 request but declined to comment further. Her 2005 petition said that he had been “harassing” the children to take the tests, which he said aimed to ensure he was their father, when the struggle broke out.

Authorities responding to a 911 call brought Andrew Hunt to jail after the incident, though he said no charges were filed and he was soon released. In the Fulton County petition, Patricia Hunt said it wasn’t the first time her husband had abused her and asked that he undergo tests for alcohol abuse and enter a batterer’s intervention program.

“I highly believe he will become violent again. He loses his head when he is angry,” she wrote in the petition. “The children left for Colombia today, but they fear for me having him around the property.”

The couple’s oldest child, 22-year-old Andrea Hunt, said Wednesday that the children weren’t in the room during the incident.

“In all the other times they fought, he never hit her. He’s not a violent, aggressive person,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad drunk in my life.”

Hunt faces Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter in November in Georgia’s closely watched race for governor. He said in the interview that he doesn’t have an alcohol problem but that he completed the batterer’s program at the advice of his legal counsel to help ensure visitation rights with his kids.

“I’m completely and totally against violence against women and think it shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said. “But I also don’t feel like people should falsely accuse people of things in divorces.”

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