Elizabeth Mae Davidson filed the complaint Thursday with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. Trump’s campaign has not yet commented about the allegations.
Davidson, of Bettendorf, Iowa, worked as Trump’s campaign field organizer in Davenport, the third-largest city in Iowa. She said she was fired for making “disparaging comments about senior campaign leaders to third parties,” and breaking a non-disclosure agreement, the Times reported. She was fired January 14, the day after she was quoted in a New York Times article about problems among the campaign’s senior leadership in Iowa, but she says she did not say anything negative to the media.
News of the complaint comes a day before the Iowa caucuses, which will be held Monday. Trump is the Republican frontrunner nationwide and in Iowa. According to the latest polls, Trump leads Ted Cruz by five points.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Davidson Claims Trump Told Her & a Campaign Volunteer ‘You Guys Could Do a Lot of Damage’
Elizabeth Mae Davidson claims in her discrimination complaint that when she met Donald Trump with another young female volunteer at a rally last summer he told them, “You guys could do a lot of damage,” referring to their looks, the New York Times reports.
“Some of the bad things about him I dismissed, because I was working for the candidate,” she told the Times. “Now I’m more critical, especially how he treats women.”
Davidson, who was described in the January Times article as one of the campaign’s most effective organizers, met Trump in early 2015, when he visited Davenport before announcing his candidacy. She said she asked him about potential running mates and he told her, “How about you?,” according to the Times.
Davidson said she was encouraged to become active in the campaign by aides who said they needed young people.
She can be seen in the video below from the Iowa Family Leadership Summit, asking Trump about how his faith has influenced the way he raised his children. The question comes at about the 13:35 mark:
She posted the video on Facebook and wrote, “We don’t hear a lot about this topic because unlike some candidates, Mr. Trump does not need to use his faith as a political tool. His ideas to fix the country and proven record of success are enough. Mr. Trump also understands that he is not competing to be elected as ‘Head Pastor of the United States,’ or ‘Nicest Guy’!”
Davidson often posted about Trump on her Facebook page. In December, she posted a photo with her boyfriend and said, “Mr. Trump told Tom Saturday that he needs to marry me.. Nice to know the big boss is making sure I’m taken care of in more ways than one.”
She wrote in November, “Donald Trump is set up to sweep the youth vote in 2016 just by the pure nature of his beliefs, strength, and vision for the country.”
In July she posted a photo with Trump and wrote, “…Despite the media’s goal to make him into a monster, he’s actually a good guy. And now Iowa is seeing that, when they get a chance to meet the real Trump … Join the fight.?? #MakeAmericaGreatAgain”
2. She Says the Campaign Paid Men More for Doing the Same Jobs as Women
Davidson also alleges in her complaint that male workers were paid more money for doing the same jobs as female staffers, according to the New York Times report.
She told the Times she was paid $2,000 a month and was part-time, but another field representative, Marc Elcock, was paid more than her for the same position, despite also having a full-time job. Elcock, a lawyer, was paid $3,500 to $4,000 a month, along with several other men, according to Trump campaign filings.
Davidson said men were allowed to plan and speak at rallies, while her requests to do so were ignored. She also claims that men with the same job title as her, district representatives, were quoted in the media without being fired by the campaign, like she was.
3. She Is a Paralegal & Competed in Miss USA Iowa Last Year
She competed in Miss Iowa USA in 2015. In a Facebook caption on a photo taken at Trump Tower she wrote, “In Miss Iowa USA, I was asked during the interview portion, if there was someone I modeled myself after… There are many people who could be answer to this question. Yet, Ivanka is one of those, who imbues beauty, grace, and an intentional commitment to impart wisdom to others. I think those are all characteristics that should be possessed by a perfect Miss Iowa. so I said, “politics aside, Ivanka Trump.” .. I’m glad she is in the world to remind me that working hard and femininity are not mutually exclusive.”
Davidson will be attending the University of Iowa Law School, according to her Facebook page.
4. She Is the Daughter of the Republican Chairwoman of Scott County, Iowa
Davidson is the daughter of Judy Davidson, the Republican party chairwoman for Scott County, Iowa, according to the New York Times.
She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2012 with a degree in business administration and then earned her master’s degree in Christian formation from the Princeton Theological Seminary in 2014, she says on her Linkedin profile.
Elizabeth Davidson has been involved in Republican politics for several years. She was the executive director of the the Illinois Federation of College Republicans in 2010, the chairman of the Chicago Coalition of College Republicans from 2009 to 2010 and the executive director of Future Leaders of Iowa, according to her Linkedin profile.
Davidson was also a paid intern for Mitt Romeny’s presidential campaign from January 2008 to April 2008.
She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gama sorority at Loyola, and was the speaker of the student senate.
5. The Complaint Will be Investigated by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission & She Can Also Sue in State Court
Davidson’s lawyer, Dorothy O’Brien, told the New York Times the complaint will first be investigated by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. After 60 days Davidson will have the opportunity to let the commission continue its investigation or file a civil lawsuit in Iowa state court.
Davidson said in the complaint, “As a result of this discrimination I have suffered lost wages, mental anguish and damage to my career,” according to the Times.
Trump’s campaign has not commented about the complaint. Betsey Tibbetts, a former volunteer hired to replace Davidson in Davenport told the Times she didn’t know why Davidson was fired and said “I’m not allowed to talk to you guys.”