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GOP Candidate Maynard Calls Questioner A 'Degenerate' At W.Va. Bus Tour Stop

Oct 20, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

A Huntington West Virginia tour stop became heated yesterday when the Republican congressional nominee, Elliott "Spike" Maynard was asked about his failed bid reelection to West Virginia's Supreme Court.

Maynard is challenging Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall in West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District.

As Maynard was preparing to speak to the crowd at Marshall University, he was approached by Chris Smith, 27, a former registered Republican.

The exchange was captured by Huntington station WSAZ's cameras:

Smith: You've been kicked off the (W.Va.) Supreme Court how many times?
Maynard: What? Is this a set-up?

Smith: No, it's not a set up, sir. We're here for Rahall.
Maynard: Good, you should be. Degenerates like you should be.

Smith: Degenerates? That's what you call people like myself? Degenerates?
Maynard: Look at ya.

According to WSAZ, Smith served as president of his high school's Young Republicans club and has volunteered for both parties in state politics over the past decade.

Maynard, a former Democrat, lost his bid for reelection to the state's Supreme Court in 2008. Maynard was defeated after the release of photos which showed him vacationing on the French Riviera with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Blankenship's company was appealing a case in Maynard's court at the time.

The scandal generated national headlines, including an infamous ABC News report during which Blankenship told the network's crew that they were "liable to be shot" for filming him. Blankenship appeared to assault ABC's cameraman in the segment.

Maynard switched to the Republican Party earlier this year in preparation for this year's election. Blankenship and Massey officials have contributed to his campaign.