The region was shocked awake yesterday with news that Rayla Campbell, a Black woman who is running a write-in campaign for Congress, had been attacked following a rally in New Bedford on Monday.

Campbell is a Republican and is running a long-shot campaign attempting to oust one of the "Squad" members, Democrat Ayanna Pressley, in Massachusetts District 7.

Campbell posted on her campaign Facebook page that she was returning to her car when "two individuals, both female, physically confronted and then assaulted me." She added, "I got kicked in the head and have a fractured tibia. I'm sore, that is all." Taken at face value, the post was stunning. How could this happen?

As time passed, new information became available, including witness accounts and video of the incident that was posted first on The video shows a much more aggressive Rayla Campbell initiating a confrontation with the two females. Witness accounts indicate Campbell was looking for a fight.

Some have come to Campbell's defense. They say Campbell, a woman of color and a Republican, has frequently been targeted by antagonists. I believe that to be true. But Campbell did not have to take the bait of her antagonists and could have simply driven away without confronting them in the way that she did.

Campbell says the two women prevented her from leaving and then "jumped her." That is a lie.

Rayla Campbell for Congress via Facebook
Rayla Campbell for Congress via Facebook

Rayla Campbell allowed two young women to goad her into a violent confrontation and then lied about what happened. She is a professional woman who is seeking election to the United States House of Representatives. She should have shown restraint or at least told the truth about what happened.

I am disappointed by Rayla Campbell's behavior. I was rooting for her.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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