Amanda Kondrat’yev was charged with battery after she reportedly threw a milkshake at Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida outside of a town hall event in Pensacola on June 1, 2019.
Kondrat’yev was arrested and booked into the Escambia County Jail, according to online inmate records. She was later released on a $1,000 bond.
The incident was recorded on a cell phone and shared to social media. In the video embedded below, you can see Rep. Gaetz walking through a crowd of protesters. The drink bounces off his shoulder and falls to the ground. He turns around to see where the drink came from and appears to confront the person who threw it.
Kondrat’yev later pleaded guilty to assault. In November 2019, she was sentenced to serve 15 days in federal custody for throwing the drink.
Kondrat’yev was a political rival of Gaetz’s. In 2016, she ran as a Democrat for Florida’s first congressional district. She dropped out of the race prior to the election and Gaetz went on to win the seat previously held by Rep. Jeff Miller.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Amanda Kondrat’yev Started a Fundraiser on Facebook For Her Defense & Called Rep. Gaetz a ‘Big F*cking Baby’ In the Comments
Amanda Kondrat’yev posted about the incident on Facebook: “Not sure how much court stuff costs but I was charged with Battery today for allegedly milkshaking Congressman Matt Gaetz. Funds will be used for court and related expenses unless donors specify otherwise. If I have extra from legal funds I will help fund local jail support for protesters. Local organizers really scrambled today. Love you all. ??”
In the comments, Kondrat’yev appeared amused by all of the attention. One commenter wrote that the drink “barely touched” Gaetz and called the battery charge “ridiculous.” Kondrat’yev responded, “Yeah he’s a big f*cking baby.”
Kondrat’yev also commented about the arrest, along with a criticizing remark: “Yeah, it sucks but I’m really glad it wasn’t worse and I got out same day. Republicans with guns? No problem. Fat lady with a ?? EMERGENCY ?”
2. Rep. Gaetz Thanked Law Enforcement After Amanda Kondrat’yev Was Arrested & Tweeted ‘Takes More Than a Drink to Slow Down Our Great Team’
Amanda Kondrat’yev confronted Rep. Matt Gaetz as he was leaving a town hall event held at a restaurant called Brew HaHa in Pensacola, according to police. It was one of three events the congressman held that day as part of his “Won’t Back Down” tour. According to the EventBrite page, Rep. Gaetz had planned to focus on “Northwest Florida’s Military Mission, our Immigration system, [and] President Trump” at the town halls.
Rep. Gaetz was hit with the milkshake as he walked through a crowd of people outside the restaurant. In the video shared to Twitter, the face of the woman who threw it is not visible but you can see the moment the drink is thrown into the air.
After Kondrat’yev was arrested, Rep. Gaetz shared local news articles about the incident on his own Twitter account. He wrote in one tweet, “Clearly it takes more than a drink to slow down our great team. We are always thankful to the brave law enforcement officials who keep everyone safe at our events.”
3. Amanda Kondrat’yev Ran For Congress as a Democrat in 2016
Amanda Kondrat’yev was one of several candidates that ran to replace former Republican Rep. Jeff Miller in 2016. He had represented Florida’s first congressional district since 2001. Rep. Matt Gaetz went on to win that election.
Kondrat’yev launched her campaign in March of 2016, according to public records on the Federal Election Commission website. She ran as a Democrat.
Kondrat’yev withdrew from the race prior to the November election. FEC records indicate she struggled to raise money for the campaign. Kondrat’yev reported having only $258 on hand at the end of March in 2016; she had self-financed $238 of it. There was no second fundraising report.
4. Kondrat’yev & Gaetz Planned to Debate About a Cross Located in a Pensacola Public Park During the 2016 Election, But the Debate Never Took Place
Amanda Kondrat’yev and Matt Gaetz clashed over a religious symbol in a public park during the 2016 election. Kondrat’yev was part of a lawsuit filed against the city of Pensacola calling for a Christian cross to be removed from Bayview Park.
Gaetz challenged Kondrat’yev to a public debate over the issue in May of 2016. In a press release, published in part by the Pensacola News Journal, Gaetz stated, “our religious liberty is under attack by far-left liberals like Amanda Kondrat’yev, who filed a lawsuit to remove the Cross at Bayview Park. I believe this lawsuit is outrageous and challenge Mrs. Kondrat’yev to a debate in front of the Bayview Park Cross.”
Kondrat’yav accepted the challenge and responded, “The way I see it, having a cross in a park that’s supposed to be for everybody is obviously showing preference to one religion over another. If it were a satanic symbol or a Muslim symbol, they would be livid.”
The debate never took place.
5. Amanda Kondrat’yev Works in Marketing & Attended the University of West Florida
Amanda Kondrat’yev has been living in Pensacola for most of her life, according to the Pensacola News Journal, and grew up in a Navy family.
Kondrat’yev attended the University of West Florida. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s in business management, according to her Linkedin profile. She also studied education at the University at Buffalo Graduate School.
Kondrat’yev currently works in retail merchandising in Pensaola, according to her Linkedin profile.