The head of the Sussex County Republican Committee has taken responsibility for posts that appeared on the committee's official Twitter account last week that calling for America to "eradicate Islam from every town, city, county and state in our homeland."

Committee chairman Jerry Scanlan, who also is a trustee of the Sussex County Community College, initially took to his organization's Facebook page last week to criticize Gov. Phil Murphy for attempting to "change the subject in Sussex County," where a county ballot question was planned in order to determine local support for the Murphy administration's policy of limiting law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration officials.

In a statement on Monday, Scanlan said he had "total control" over the Twitter account and was trying to build up the number of followers by retweeting "trains" -- which he described as a practice of retweeting material from other accounts with similar goals.

Scanlan said he re-tweeted items 20,000 times, "rarely posting original content, none of which is being questioned." But he said Twitter sometimes contains "off color and inappropriate content" and said that "on a few occasions, I was not thorough enough in reading/viewing what I re-tweeted."

He acknowledged retweeting a meme showing the four Democratic Congresswomen often called the "Squad" -- calling them the "Jihad Squad" -- "but others I do not recall ever seeing and do not reflect my thoughts, although if they were on my Twitter account, then I do take responsibility for them."

"What I can say, is that I made human errors of judgment, for which I apologize and can assure you that processes are currently being developed to prevent these unfortunate mistakes from happening again. I ask for your forgiveness," Scanlan wrote.

On Thursday, the Sussex County GOP committee issued a statement saying that Scanlan "has agreed to remove himself from involvement in any social media platform concerning the Sussex County Republican Committee.

The vice chairwoman of the committee, Jill Space, is the wife of Assemblyman Parker Space, R-Sussex, who caused a minor stir in 2017 when he posted a picture of himself and his wife posing with a Confederate flag with the face of singer Hank Williams.

As of Monday afternoon, the Sussex GOP account remained private.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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