Arundel delegates feud at Republican unity event

A Republican Party unity event Thursday did not bring unification to a pair of state delegates from Severna Park, who reportedly got into an argument that ended with a police report.

Anne Arundel County Police officers took a statement from Del. Cathy Vitale, who said Del. Tony McConkey cursed at her and raised his hand at her at the Maryland Republican Party event at the Columbian Center on Ritchie Highway in Severna Park.

No charges were filed in the case.

Vitale told an officer she went to shake McConkey's hand and congratulate him on his victory in Tuesday's election. Vitale and McConkey both earned enough votes in the Republican primary to advance to November's general election.

Vitale claims McConkey cursed at Vitale and stepped toward her aggressively, according to the police report. At one point, McConkey "raised his right hand in the air as if to strike Vitale," the police report said based on Vitale's statement.

The report says McConkey's wife and Vitale's husband tried to intervene and pull the two apart. Another candidate also stepped in and was able to break them apart, according to the police report.

McConkey said Friday that Vitale has blown the incident out of proportion and denies acting aggressively or raising his hand toward her. He admits swearing multiple times.

"She was insulted I didn't want to talk to her. I didn't want anything to do with her last night. She got all upset yelling and screaming," McConkey said. "It was not a big deal."

Vitale declined to comment further on the incident Friday.

McConkey said he wasn't in a unity mood after a tense primary campaign with Vitale. He said he was particularly stung by a negative mailer that targeted him in the closing weeks of the campaign.

"I ran a totally positive campaign. I didn't attack her at all," McConkey said.

McConkey said he was not contacted by police about the incident. Police did not file charges and do not plan on investigating the matter further, unless new evidence is brought to them, said Lt. T.J. Smith, a police spokesman.

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