UPDATE: Davis staffer arrested in incident at opponent's campaign event

UPDATE: Davis staffer arrested in incident at opponent's campaign event

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SPRINGFIELD — A staff member for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’ campaign has found himself out of a job and facing charges after allegedly punching a man at a Springfield tavern where a campaign event was being held for Davis’ Democratic opponent.

Police said Levi Lovell, who works as a field director for the Taylorville Republican, was allegedly intoxicated at JP Kelly’s Pub on Adams Street when he approached a group of supporters of Democratic challenger Betsy Londrigan and identified himself.

Lt. Brian Oakes said Lovell was slurring his words as he pulled out his cellphone at the Wednesday-night event and began recording a video of the group while trying to get them to say something insensitive.

Oakes said two male patrons escorted Lovell out of the bar and he allegedly struck one of the men. He was arrested on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery.

Davis campaign manager Matt Butcher said “as soon as I was made aware of the incident, his employment was immediately terminated. This campaign has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or violence of any kind.”

Lovell previously worked as an intern for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, and for Gov. Bruce Rauner.

In a statement, Davis apologized to Londrigan, her husband and everyone at the bar.

“The incident involving a young field representative on my campaign should have never happened, and his employment was immediately terminated,” he said. “His actions go against everything I stand for and go directly against what I have been promoting, which is more civility in politics. This kind of behavior will never be tolerated on my campaign or with anyone on my staff.”

Londrigan said Thursday she was relieved her staff and supporters were all OK.

“I am disturbed that someone would show up to an event and try to harass and intimidate me and my family, but he is sorely mistaken if he thinks that it is going to slow me down one bit,” she said in a statement. “Nasty, divisive politics do nothing for our community. I will continue to hold public town halls, campaign with civility and show this office and voters the respect they deserve.”

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