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LOS ANGELES — The leading Republican candidate in California’s recall election is denying that he brandished a weapon during a heated domestic argument with his former fiancée.

Alexandra Datig, a producer and conservative political commentator who worked on Elder’s show when they were engaged and living together, made the explosive accusations in a Politico piece this week, claiming “she broke off an 18-month engagement with the conservative talk show host in 2015 after he waved a gun at her while high on marijuana.”

In documents provided to The Associated Press, Datig described an emotionally abusive relationship with Elder. She said she never reported the gun incident to police and moved out after they agreed on a financial settlement.

Elder is among 46 candidates on the Sept. 14 ballot and appears to be leading the field as the top polling Republican in several surveys. Since the story was published Thursday, Elder has vigorously denied the allegations.

In a series of tweets, Elder wrote in part: “I have never brandished a gun at anyone.”

“I grew up in South Central; I know exactly how destructive this type of behavior is,” the candidate continues. “It’s not me, and everyone who knows me knows it’s not me. These are salacious allegations.”

Elder cast the claims as an attempt to “distract” voters, adding “people do not get into public life precisely because of this type of politics of personal destruction.”

Datig told the Associated Press Elder was high during the 2015 argument and went to the cabinet where he stored his gun “and made sure it was in my view.”

“He did not point it at me, but he wanted to make sure that I knew that he was checking” to see it was loaded, she told the AP.

Datig, who publicly supports former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer in the recall, told the news agency that she came forward with her claims after seeing Elder gaining momentum in the race. She said she was “extremely concerned” by the idea of Elder running the state.

Mail ballots for the special contest have already gone out to voters across the state, and in-person voting will take place at locations in San Diego County from Sept. 11 through Sept. 14.

Learn more about how to cast a ballot, the two questions posed to voters and the full field of replacement candidates with our California Governor Recall Election Guide.