Man charged with punching legislative candidate in Minnesota bar

- Prosecutors have charged a central Minnesota man with punching a legislative candidate in the face during a talk about politics.

Fifty-three-year-old Richard Donald Schmit of Foley is charged with one felony count of third-degree assault and two misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree assault.

Republican House candidate Shane Mekeland reported he was assaulted the night of Oct. 12. 

According to the complaint, Mekeland was sitting on a barstool at a bar talking with Schmit about politics. The complaint alleges during the talk, Schmit punched Mekeland after the candidate made comments about the middle class.

Mekeland fell backward. The St. Cloud Times reports he told police he hit his head on the floor and passed out.

Court records don't list an attorney who could comment for Schmit. He's due in court Nov. 15. 

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