Under fire for inflammatory and misogynistic statements made on Facebook, a Democratic candidate for councilman in South Plainfield has dropped out of the race.
Steve Remming had made a series of offensive social media posts, including a suggestion that he would celebrate the suicide of Bernie Sanders supporters and constant use of the C-word on Facebook. The New Jersey Globe first reported the existence of the posts.
“After much thought I have decided to no longer be an active candidate for Borough Council. My first instinct was to fight this expertly choreographed political hit job, but doing so would not be fair to friends, supporters and others running this year,” Remming said. “Poor choices have consequences.”
It took Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe no time to tell Remming to get out of the race.
The deadline to remove Remming’s name from the ballot has passed, he acknowledged that remaining in the race — he initially told TapInto.com that he would not drop out — would distract attention from his running mate, Sandy Doyon.
“Unfortunately, my presence would make her campaign about me and my off color remarks on my private Facebook account, not her ideas to make our town better,” Remming said. “For that reason it’s best if I immediately suspend my campaign. I would like to thank the people of South Plainfield for their support and friendship.”
With Remming’s name remaining on the ballot — voting has already begun in an election conducted primarily through vote-by-mail ballots — the final decision rests with South Plainfield voters.
In 2018, Burlington County voters elected George Youngkin to the Board of Freeholders weeks after he dropped out of the race after reports of domestic violence and stalking charges surfaced. He was sworn in and then immediately resigned.
“Mr. Remming made the right decision by leaving the race,” said Elliot Imse, senior director of communications at LGBTQ Victory Fund. “We need elected leaders who hold themselves to a higher standard and aim to move the country toward more civil political discourse. It is sad that Donald Trump regularly lobs slurs toward women and others with no repercussions and few condemnations from Republican members of Congress. But if we only hold our candidates and elected officials to Trump standards, any chance of restoring respectability and productivity to our politics will disintegrate.”
This story was updated at 1:12 PM on September 28 with comment from Victory Fund.