Not long ago, freshman New Jersey lawmaker Pat Delaney (R) resigned from the state Assembly citing an undisclosed family problem. Today however, Burlington County GOP Chairman Bill Layton disclosed that Delaney had actually resigned over a racially charged email his wife Jennifer sent to state senate candidate and 9 time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis.
In response to a mass email sent out by Lewis’s campaign, Jennifer Delaney wrote “Imagine having dark skin and name recognition and the nerve to think that equaled knowing something about politics.”
The email was first published today in PolitickerNJ.com. Faced with the revelation, Delaney himself acknowledged that the email was genuine and that he’d decided to leave office and not stand for reelection rather than face the disgrace and humiliation to his family that his wife’s actions would cause.
Said Delaney: “I am deeply disappointed in my wife’s decision to send that email to Mr. Lewis’ campaign; it does not reflect my personal beliefs whatsoever. In an attempt to repair the serious damage this has caused to our marriage, and to protect our kids from public humiliation, I decided to leave public life. On behalf of my family, we sincerely apologize to Mr. Lewis for any pain this caused him.”
Layton, chair of the county Republican party expressed compassion for Delaney who he said had done nothing wrong himself. But he told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that he “was very clear with Pat from the beginning that if he chose to stay on the ballot, the Burlington County Republican Party would have withdrawn our support.”