A social media spat between campaign Republican campaign managers in the third congressional district is causing some ripples.
On Tuesday, a group of Republican women that includes seven sitting state lawmakers called on David Richter to apologize to former Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs over a tweet that emerged from a dustup on twitter between their two campaign managers.
“Hey Angelo, I hope you punched some holes in the box where you are hiding Kate,” Richter said in the since-deleted tweet. “I would hate for her to suffocate.”
The Republican women — among whom are former State Sen. Diane Allen, State Sen. Kristin Corrado and Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce, Serena DiMaso, Aura Dunn, Nancy Munoz, Holly Schepisi and Jean Stanfield — said the tweet was an example of the misogyny that permeates New Jersey’s politics.
“Whether it’s David Richter’s aggressive social media posts or Governor Murphy’s Administration covering up of a rape allegation, it is apparent sexism is thriving in New Jersey politics,” they said. “These disturbing attitudes towards women are parasitic and threaten to harm our democracy and need to be admonished at every turn.”
Richter defended the post, calling it a “sarcastic but innocuous tweet,” and claimed Gibbs was attempting to deflect away from other issues.
“This is nothing more than fake outrage from a fake Republican. Nothing about my recent tweet had anything to do with Kate’s gender,” he said. “I will continue to criticize Kate for her criminal past, her habitual disregard of the law, her lack of ethics, her lack of integrity and her dismal record as a failed freeholder. And none of those things have anything to do with her gender either.”
Seaside Park Councilwomen Gail Coleman and Faith Liguori, Lavallette Councilwomen Joanne Filippone and Anita Zalom and Berkeley Councilwoman Judy Noonan also demanded Richter apologize, as did Republican State Committeewoman Erin Darreff, Burlington Republican Vice Chairwoman Linda Hughes and Young Republican Federation of New Jersey National Committeewoman Vicki Chadwick.
“The use of threatening and violent language by David Richter towards his female opponent Kate Gibbs cannot be tolerated,” they said. “David should issue an immediate apology for his increasingly sexist and demeaning attacks on Kate.”