Politics & Government

Campaign officials drop GOP congressional candidate after abuse allegations

Steve Von Loor
Steve Von Loor

Two top workers resigned from the campaign of a North Carolina Republican congressional candidate after allegations of domestic violence were made public by his ex-wife.

Steve A. Von Loor is the Republican nominee in North Carolina's 4th District, which includes parts of Durham, Orange and Wake counties. Democrat David Price represents the heavily Democratic district. Liberterian Barbara Howe is also a candidate in the November election.

Von Loor appeared in Wake County District Court on Friday seeking a protective order against his ex-wife's current husband. Adrian J. Robey, the husband of Loor's ex-wife, was also seeking a protective order against Loor.

Judge Dan Nagle dismissed both cases, but admonished Von Loor, Robey and Maria Robey, Von Loor's former wife, for setting a poor example for their teenage sons.

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In court, Maria Robey said her ex-husband was verbally abusive to her and that she did not go to child exchanges out of fear for what might happen. Adrian Robey's attorney tried to introduce evidence about a 2010 protective order that Maria Robey sought against Von Loor, alleging he had thrown a bottle of wine at her house, threatened to break her car windows and pushed her so hard that a friend called police.

Von Loor said he had no comment to reporters at the courthouse on Friday.

On Tuesday, Joel Gillison and Alex Baltzegar posted letters of resignation from the Von Loor campaign to Twitter.

"In light of recently-surfaced past events, previously unbeknownst to me, I am resigning my position as campaign manager effective immediately," Gillison wrote.

"(I)n light of recently-surfaced past events of which I was not aware, I am submitting my resignation effective immediately," Baltzegar wrote.

Gillison, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, listed campaign manager for Von Loor on his LinkedIn page. The Von Loor campaign website also listed Gillison as campaign manager.

Baltzegar was listed on the website as the chief strategist and operations manager for the campaign.

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, said the party is not pushing Von Loor to get out of the race. Woodhouse noted that while he was not familiar with the specific allegations in this case, "custody issues and issues of marriage and divorce are often messy. A lot of people can relate to that."

"Our interactions with him have been good," Woodhouse said of Von Loor. "We are talking about something that was several years ago and not something we were aware of."

Attempts to reach Von Loor, Gillison and Baltzegar were unsuccessful Tuesday evening.

Von Loor ran unopposed for the nomination to face Price, who has served in Congress since 1987 save a two-year hiatus after the 1994 election. Price won re-election in 2016 with more than 68 percent of the vote.

Von Loor was born in 1978 in Alabama, but was raised in Ecuador by his Ecuadorian mother. When he was 20, Von Loor moved to Durham. A father of four, including two young children with his current wife, Von Loor owns a translation business, according to his campaign website.

Brian Murphy: 202.383.6089; Twitter: @MurphinDC
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