A police affidavit said officers were dispatched to the couple’s Hermitage home Sunday after receiving a call from Bethany Staats, who said her husband had slapped her in the face.
“Ms. Staats did have a red mark on her left cheek consistent with her statement,” the affidavit said.“Mr. Staats when questioned stated that during a verbal argument he pushed his wife Ms. Staats down onto a bed then left the location.”
In a brief phone interview Monday, Staats said the situation was “not what it appears to be.” He declined to comment further and refused to identify his attorney.
The Tennessee Republican Party declined to comment, saying it “can’t speak for Mr. Staats.”
Staats, who owns two security businesses, won the crowded Republican primary in August for the Fifth Congressional District seat. But he lost the general election by a wide margin on Nov. 6 to the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper. He defeated Cooper by more than 500 votes in Cheatham County and lost narrowly in Dickson County but was no match for the congressman in Davidson County, losing by more than 85,000 votes.
Staats, 43, said in interviews before the election that he was worried about the nation’s direction and the impact it could have on his four children. He raised eyebrows in late September with a Facebook post in which he showed a photo of his handgun and wrote,“Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama.” He said he was not threatening the president.