Gubernatorial candidate and Bellevue resident Rob McKenna issued a statement that one of his staffers apologized after The Stranger's blog "The Slog" uncovered posts on Twitter that were derogatory toward Asians and the elderly.
According to The Stranger, McKenna staffer Kathlyn Ehl posted in January: "shut up and speak english #asians" and in November: "If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk" (punctuation in the original).
While Ehl, a recent graduate of the University of Washington according to her LinkedIn account, has since deleted the two tweets, as well as others from her Twitter account, The Stranger posted the history of her tweets as of Friday before her timeline was edited.
Ehl was hired by McKenna's campaign in April, and according to political blog Publicola, McKenna's campaign Twitter feed encouraged followers to follow her (the post has since been deleted).
McKenna, the leading Republican in the race for governor and the state Attorney General, issued this statement through his campaign:
The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, which were reported today were offensive and inappropriate. I am glad to see that she has apologized for her actions.
The fact that she made the comments before joining my campaign does not make them any less hurtful to Asian Americans and the elderly. They were insensitive and wrong regardless of their context.
She has done the right thing by apologizing. I am hopeful that she has learned a humbling lesson that will give her greater perspective about having charity in her heart when considering the challenges faced by others.
What do you think? Youthful indescretion or a campaign faux pas?
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