Sep 302020

Republican Candidate Mike Southworth

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, three Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairs (Milford, Orange, and West Haven) called on Republican State Senate Candidate Mike Southworth to drop out of the race for state senate (District 14).

The calls for Southworth to step out of the race are from Jody Barstein Dietch (Orange DTC Chair), Rich Smith (Milford DTC Chair), and Mike Last (West Haven DTC Chair). The announcement comes on the heels of a Connecticut Post report, which uncovers that for years, Southworth posted sexist, hateful comments on Facebook, even advocating for the assault of a female journalist.

According to the Connecticut Post, the following is a snapshot of the racist, sexist Facebook posts:

  • Sexist, ageist comment about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Southworth commented ‘Haha’ on a meme of Ginsburg with an overlay that says ‘Abraham Lincoln grabbed my a** in 1862’” (September 2018).
  • Sexist comment about Rosie O’Donnell. “Southworth wrote, ‘Throw this pig in jail’ on a post linking to a Breitbart article about O’Donnell” (May 2018).
  • Sexist comment about Whoopi Goldberg. “In response to a since-deleted tweet from Republican strategist Andrew Surabian about Goldberg, Southworth wrote, ‘Can anyone explain why this C U Next Tuesday is still allowed to be on the air?’”(October 2018).
  • Advocated for assaulting a female journalist. “Facebook post referencing a story about Navarro filing her nails on camera, Southworth wrote, ‘This F’n b**** needs a big slap.’” (January 2019).

“As a woman, these posts are personally offensive to me and should be to any woman. If your co-worker made these disgusting, sexist comments, you’d expect him to get fired or resign in disgrace,” said Deitch. “But instead, Mike Southworth’s running for public office and made these reprehensible comments on a public forum. An apology isn’t enough: He should do the right thing and drop his bid for public office.”

Dietch continued: “Anyone who has endorsed Mike Southworth’s candidacy should retract their support and join the groundswell of community members calling on him to drop his Senate bid.”

Rich Smith, Milford Democratic Town Committee Chair added, “These types of statements have no place in our community. I call on the Republican Town chairs and the state Republican Party to take a stand against this type of language and behavior and to consider if this candidate represents the Republican parties’ views. This past week, my fellow chairs and I have received multiple calls and emails expressing disgust and disappointment in the Republican candidate’s views. Our community deserves better.”

In addition, Mike Last, the West Haven DTC chair also issued an appeal to the groups who endorsed Mike Southworth to withdraw their endorsement.  “Not only do I feel that Mr. Southworth should leave the race, but I call on all of the people and organizations who endorsed Mr. Southworth’s candidacy to withdraw their support. Mr. Southworth’s behavior and actions don’t reflect our West Haven values.”

Connecticut’s General Election, which includes the race for state senate, will take place on November 3, 2020.

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