Secretary of State Kim Wyman has punished the staff member and personally apologized for the remarks, according to a statement.

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman has disciplined a staff member after he made an “inappropriate reference” to a Seattle Times reporter on Thursday, according to a statement from Wyman.

In a Seattle Times story posted Thursday, Wyman’s spokesman Dave Ammons commented in an email to political reporter Jim Brunner about state Sen. Pramila Jayapal’s bid to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott for the 7th District seat. Jayapal does not live in the district.

According to Brunner’s report, Ammons said it’s “pretty unusual” in Washington for candidates to run for seats outside of their own districts, adding: “Carpetbagging is the one obvious line of campaign attacks, but in a case of near proximity, less so.”

Wyman issued a statement on Friday addressing the comment, a move Jayapal on Twitter said she appreciated. The secretary of state said she holds herself and staff to high professional standards and clarified that Jayapal meets residency requirements for candidacy in the 7th District.

In regard to Ammons’ comment, Deputy Secretary of State Greg Lane said in an email late Friday: “Our role as staff members in the office is to provide information about legal requirements to run for office, nothing more.”

Jayapal, a national leader among immigrant-rights advocates, said her home was in the 7th District until a redistricting panel redrew political maps a few years ago, now including her address in the 9th District. If elected, she said she’ll move into the 7th District.

According to the U.S. Constitution, a U.S. representative must be at least 25 years old, a citizen for at least seven years, and a resident of the state he or she is representing.