WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey Republican ended his campaign for local office Tuesday following reports that he called online for the rape of a Washington-based reporter for news and opinion website The Daily Beast.
Mike Krawitz, who was running for the township council in West Deptford, sent a handwritten resignation note to the party Tuesday saying he was dropping out.
On Monday, Krawitz told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his account was hacked and that he didn’t make the comment on journalist Olivia Nuzzi’s Facebook account.
But Nuzzi, a New Jersey native, said she has been harassed on social media by Krawitz since December 2015.
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Krawitz’s recent comment said: “I. Hope. Somebody. Rapes. You. Today. :).” Krawitz’s account also posted a comment that said: “Hope. You. Get. Raped. By. A. Syrian. Refugee. :).”
Bob Waller, chairman of the West Deptford Republican Committee, said in a statement before Krawitz stepped down that there is “no reasonable reason” to believe Krawitz was hacked. He had called on Krawitz step down.
“We as a party cannot condone such repulsive, threatening or demeaning rhetoric of this kind being made by any person regardless of party,” Waller said.
A person answering the phone at a number listed for Krawitz on Tuesday afternoon said he was not home.
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 comments came after Nuzzi promoted an article about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples.
Nuzzi said in a statement that she has received a lot of colorful hate mail but never from a candidate for office.
“I have faith that most voters in New Jersey and around the country disapprove of hateful rhetoric of this nature,” Nuzzi said.
The Facebook pages for Krawitz and the West Deptford GOP were down Tuesday.