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FL Gov candidate Charlie Crist’s top staffer left campaign citing a ‘family matter.’ He was actually arrested

The campaign manager for former Rep. Charlie Crist’s (D-Fla.) bid to unseat incumbent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to have been arrested in Maryland this week, before the campaign said he would leave to handle a “family matter.”

Austin Durrer, who has worked for Crist since 2016, was arrested Tuesday in Cambridge, Maryland, on second-degree assault charges in a case classified as “domestic violence,” according to Dorchester County court records obtained by Fox News Digital. Durrer was released on $10,000 bond after his arrest, and the court ordered him to surrender firearms and vacate his home.

Durrer’s trial is slated for Dec. 7. Based on the charges in the case, he faces up to 10 years imprisonment.

On Thursday, the Crist campaign abruptly announced that Durrer would depart the campaign mere weeks before the election to deal with a family issue that had arisen. The announcement didn’t mention Durrer’s apparent domestic violence arrest.

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“Austin Durrer has departed the campaign to focus on a family matter,” campaign spokesperson Samantha Ramirez said in a statement, according to independent outlet Florida Politics. 

Politico reported that campaign insiders declined to explain why Durrer departed the campaign, but reiterated the cause was a “family emergency.”

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The court documents reviewed by Fox News Digital show that Durrer was arrested at a home located at 207 Oakley Street in Cambridge, Maryland. A local magazine based in Easton, Maryland, noted in 2019 that Durrer and his wife, Jackie Whisman, the chief development officer at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C., owned the “three-story, five-bedroom dwelling.”

“The home of Jackie and Austin on Oakley Street is an example of Victorian architecture employed by shipmasters of that period,” the Attraction Magazine article stated.

In addition, the court records list Durrer’s birthday as March 15, the same date listed for him in LegiStorm, a database that tracks Capitol Hill staffers.

The Crist campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Durrer previously worked for former Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and the Department of Commerce subagency Economics and Statistics Administration during the Obama administration. In December 2016, Crist hired Durrer to be his chief of staff in Congress, and earlier this year Crist pegged Durrer to lead his gubernatorial campaign.

“Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and a strong, steady hand to this important position,” Crist said in 2016. “He’s an impact player who will build our team in Washington with a laser-like focus on serving the people of Pinellas County.”

Meanwhile, Crist’s campaign has failed to gain traction, with less than three weeks until the election. Most polls have shown DeSantis with a substantial lead, and the Cook Political Report has rated the race as “likely R.”

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