MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- The campaign spokesman for U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-Mount Kisco) has resigned following outcry over comments he made online last week.
Jay Townsend, who is also a Republican strategist, made comments on May 26 on a Facebook page titled "NY19 U.S. House of Representatives Civil Discussion Center" in which he responded to comments made by a critic about gender-salary inequity.
"Let’s hurl some acid at those female Democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector," wrote Townsend, a Cornwall-on-Hudson resident.
The post drew hundreds of comments from online readers after going viral and drew criticism from Hayworth's critics. The comment has since been removed.
"On May 26, I posted a stupid, thoughtless and insensitive comment on a Facebook page," Townsend posted on his own Facebook page Sunday. "It was stupid because my words were easily misconstrued; thoughtless because my choice of words obscured a point I was trying to make, and insensitive because some have interpreted the comment as advocating a violent act. To friends, associates and clients I have offered my apology for the embarrassment I have caused, and do hereby offer it to the many who rightly found fault with my incendiary choice of words. The mistake was mine, and mine only and the post in no way was intended to represent the views of anyone for whom I have worked or represented."
Hayworth, a Mount Kisco resident who represents the 19th Congressional District, confirmed the resignation with a brief statement released today.
"Jay Townsend has offered, and I have accepted, his resignation from his position with my campaign," Hayworth said. "Now let's return to talking about issues that really matter to families: job creation, spending restraint and economic development."
One of Hayworth's Democratic opponents, Dr. Richard Becker of Cortlandt, had planned to demand Townsend's dismissal at a protest outside Hayworth's Fishkill, N.Y. office this morning. He criticized the Hayworth campaign for waiting a week to dismiss Townsend.
"Our campaign broke this story, and for five days we've been leading the charge to hold Mr. Townsend and Rep. Hayworth accountable for the horrendous comments made on her behalf," Becker said. "This kind of language is unbecoming of a Congressional spokesman and unworthy of the Hudson Valley, and we're pleased Nan Hayworth belated realized what most of us saw last week."
Perhaps ironically, Townsend maintains a Facebook page titled "How to Run For Public Office" and has written an ebook called "10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make."