A Pennsylvania judge on Friday dismissed a temporary protective order against Teddy Daniels, a far-right Republican candidate for lieutenant governor whose wife has accused him of verbal abuse and threatening behavior.
“Justice was served today in a court of law,” Daniels said outside the Wayne County Courthouse after President Judge Janine Edwards made her decision. “I’m going to go see my son.”
Daniels’ defense argued that his wife, who testified on Friday, was not a reliable witness. Daniels himself did not testify. “Our case was proven by cross-examination of a witness who lied,” his attorney, Jen Gilliland Vanasdale, claimed to reporters. “Obviously the court believed that, or the court would not have dismissed and denied the protection from abuse.”
Rolling Stone reported last week that Daniels had been removed from his home after his wife asked a court for emergency protections against abuse. It is at least the third relationship in which Daniels has been accused in court documents of mistreating a female partner.
In court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Daniels’ wife accused him of stalking her and being verbally abusive, as well as threatening her, their young child, and the family dog. Daniels’ wife initially received an “order granting emergency protection from abuse” to her and her child last Monday from the Wayne County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. Those protections were extended last Tuesday via a separate order from the same court.
Under the terms of the order, Daniels was barred from the couple’s home in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. The order barred Daniels from contacting his wife and gave her temporary custody over their child. It also noted that there were firearms present in the couple’s home and barred Daniels from possessing or acquiring any firearms while the order was in effect, while also requiring him to relinquish any he possessed to the court or an approved third party.
In handwritten notes from Daniels’ wife that the court included in its order, Daniels’ wife alleged that her husband — whom the court lists at six-foot-four and weighing 360 pounds — “grabbed me by the shirt” during an incident in August and “threatened to kill [our] family dog in front of children.”
“I am afraid of him and what he will do to me and our [child],” she wrote.
After this piece was published last week, Daniels reached out via Twitter: “Please include this in your dishonest hit piece: Anyone can walk into any courtroom to get a temporary PFA,” Daniels wrote.
The top of the “Meet Teddy Daniels” section of his campaign website features the candidate affectionately kissing a young child on the head. A subsequent photo shows him gazing at what may be the same child at a young age and describes Daniels as focused on spending time with his family.
As previously reported by Rolling Stone in February, in two earlier relationships with women, Daniels was accused of mistreatment. During a custody battle in 2013, an ex-wife of Daniels asked the district court of Maryland for an order of protection, citing alleged “domestic violence.” The petition also accused Daniels of harassing her at her workplace The order was not granted, and in other court documents, Daniels repeatedly suggested his motivation in his dealings with his ex-wife was to see his child.
In an earlier relationship, Daniels had sued a woman seeking visitation and custody of a child they’d had together. In 1999, a lawyer for that woman accused Daniels of having previously “engaged in conduct which has been threatening” to the woman and made her feel “justifiably unsafe.” Despite that contention, the presiding officer granted Daniels visitation.
Daniels’ campaign pitch is heavily based on his service in the military and in law enforcement, and, above all, on his political alignment with Donald Trump. Daniels has met personally with Trump and boasted of being present at the U.S. Capitol with the pro-Trump protesters on January 6, 2021 as the former president’s election loss was being certified. Daniels also has actively promoted conspiracy theories about the last election and vowed that, if he wins this race, he will “revamp” Pennsylvania’s voting system “for when Trump runs in ‘24.”
The notes from his wife that accompanied the court order detail a disturbing domestic saga in which she lives in fear for her safety and the safety of her child.
According to Daniels’ wife’s written notes, state police came to their home after being called to do a wellness check. “After they left, Ted became very agitated about who called the State Troopers and accused my family of talking to Rolling Stone about his prior domestic violence,” Daniels’ wife wrote. “He falsely accused me of talking to Rolling Stone. He was verbally abusive and I called State Police.”
Daniels’ wife testified on Friday that Daniels threatened to “put a bullet” in the head of one of the people he blamed for the coverage. “And if I find out you’re in on it, you’re going down too,” she said Daniels told her.
Daniels’ wife has never communicated in any way with this reporter and she did not respond to a request for comment. Rolling Stone is withholding her name as she is an alleged victim of domestic abuse. Rolling Stone obtained the court documents from a family friend of the couple, who asked that their name be withheld citing safety concerns.
According to Daniels’ wife’s notes, when the State Police returned to their home on Sunday, April 24, they suggested her husband leave the home overnight to “cool things down” and suggested she get a protection from abuse order. Rolling Stone reached out to the State Police in Homesdale, Pennsylvania on April 24 to confirm they had visited Daniels’ home. The officer who answered the phone declined to comment.
In her statement included in the court order, Daniels’ wife said he returned to their home at approximately six that Monday morning. “He asked if I was going to file a [protection from abuse order] and I started crying. I started to go to the courthouse and he tried not to let me go,” Daniels’ wife wrote, adding, “Ted followed me to the courthouse and came into the courthouse.”
In her notes, Daniels’ wife makes alarming allegations about his prior conduct. “He stalks me at work, screaming at me, making me cry. He cursed at me continually and our son repeats it to me,” she wrote. “He has constantly said he would throw myself and our son out of the house and, if he lost the campaign, I wouldn’t have a place to live in three weeks.” (Some punctuation has been added for clarity.)
In her statement, Daniels’ wife further alleges that he “curses at me and our son.” She also said Daniels’ has threatened the young boy by saying he would “kick his ass” and that he needs “an ass whooping.” She also claimed Daniels “gave alcohol” to a child he had with another woman when they were 12 years old.
Daniels’ wife also accused his campaign team of threatening her and trying to discourage her from going to court to request orders for protection from abuse. “Ted’s Campaign Manager has called me twelve (12) times to persuade me not to file this PFA. He has threatened to investigate who made wellness calls to the State Police unless I dropped the emergency PFA + didn’t file a temporary PFA,” she wrote.
The campaign manager was not identified in the document. Daniels’ campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the order. Overall, Daniels’ wife described herself as terrified for herself, her young child, and even for Daniels.
“I am afraid of him and what he will do to me and our son. He [threatens] to kill himself,” she wrote.
Daniels is running for lieutenant governor with the support of Doug Mastriano, a pro-Trump state legislator who has led most polls of the Republican primary field. Mastriano has extensive ties to the effort to overturn Trump’s loss and was subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack in February. In Pennsylvania, gubernatorial candidates and potential lieutenants do not run on the same ticket. However, Mastriano and Daniels are so closely associated that they have been described as running mates. Mastriano did not respond to requests for comment about the order.
In February, when asked about his prior abuse allegations, Daniels sent Rolling Stone a short statement that described the past accusations as “FALSE, and MALICIOUS ALLEGATIONS.” Days after the article was published, he posted an angry, lengthy video rant on Facebook dismissing the story as a “smear piece.”
“Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome investigative journalism. You pulled public records. Like, does that impress me? You know, do you think that that’s investigative journalism? You pulled public records,” Daniels said, adding, “Rolling Stone, take your bullshit and shove it.”
This post has been updated.