NJ GOP candidate accused of posting ‘I hope somebody rapes’ reporter drops out
WEST DEPTFORD — The name of Mike Krawitz — the Republican West Deptford Township Committee candidate who is accused of posting messages online telling a reporter he hopes "somebody rapes you" — has disappeared from the local Republican Club's website.
Jim Philbin, chairman of the Gloucester County GOP, said in a statement Tuesday there is "no room within our party for the brand of hate displayed in the posting" — and called for Krawitz to step down.
Even if the recent vulgar comments attributed to Krawitz were, as the candidate claimed, from a hacker, Philbin said that previous posts are enough for him to get out.
Philbin said that Krawitz was not vetted by the party and that he does not know Krawitz.
Politico NJ reported that Krawitz submitted a handwritten letter of resignation withdrawing from the race.
Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi on Monday tweeted a screenshot of what appear to be three Facebook comments made by candidate Krawitz in response to a story she linked to (but did not write) about Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples. Krawitz blamed a hack to his account for the posts, but Nuzzi said in further tweets that he's been commenting on her posts since 2015.
Caution: The messages captured below include profane language:
West Deptford GOP Chairman Bob Waller said he doesn't believe the hacking explanation, telling Politico "the party will do whatever it takes to have him removed from the ballot"
A person answering the phone at a number listed for Krawitz on Tuesday afternoon said he was not home, the Associated Press reported.
West Deptford Police Chief Sam DiSimone said no complaint has been filed with the department, but he condemned the comments.
"It's an embarrassment to the township that this is taking place," he said.
The website of the West Deptford GOP Club, which previously had links at the top of the site to Krawitz and running mate Joann Priga along with the team of "Jeff and Jerry" no longer displayed Krawitz and Priga's names as of noon on Tuesday. The GOP Club's Facebook page remained unavailable, and its Twitter account hasn't tweeted since August of 2015.
Krawitz, meanwhile, on what appears to be his personal page, posted several stories about Donald Trump including a picture of an old New York magazine cover of Trump and the headline "Fighting Back." He did not respond to a message sent via Facebook seeking comment.
Calls and email to Krawitz and Priga, the Gloucester County GOP Club and Gloucester County GOP by New Jersey 101.5 all were not returned.
— Reporting by the Associated Press was used in this story.
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