Sussex GOP should not defend Space's behavior

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(Editor's note: The following letter is in response to a letter from Sussex County republican Chairman Jerry Scanlan that appeared in the Sept. 27 issue:

This letter is in response to Sussex County Republican Chairman Jerry Scanlan's criticism of the SCDC Chair's statement regarding Parker Space's infamous words in the public Green of Newton that his opponent was a "B-----,” which he repeated 3 times in the space of 33 seconds.

By now many across the state, various organizations, even the Bi-Partisan Women's Political Caucus have called on Space's party to either condemn his actions, or on Space to resign from the race. Not one local Republican leader has condemned his behavior at a public event that day at a prayer vigil for overdose victims during a county wide opioid abuse crisis.

Instead, Mr. Scanlan doubles down on the alleged "private nature" of the conversation rather than apologize for his party or his candidate. In pointing out that Space was talking to Democratic candidates and executive members, does Mr. Scanlan realize that he is actually digging the hole deeper for Space? Space's conduct lacked so much professional judgment, that it is mind-boggling. The fact that an elected state official could say these things to anyone, let alone his opposition party in the upcoming campaign proves his utter lack of judgment when it comes to serious matters. I know that same lack of judgment leads straight to his cringe-worthy legislative record.

I would have appreciated an apology from the party, or even a "this won't happen again." Yet nothing but misguided points from Mr. Scanlan, even falsehoods. In fact, Hal Wirths, Space's running mate, and Steven Oroho, our State Senator have also not commented. Senator Oroho sure had some harsh words for the crude language of Mr. Bill Hayden during the primary debate. Yet when similar language is used by a member of his own ticket nothing needs to be said? Hypocrisy at its finest.

The Republican party in Sussex County should come clean. Space's actions as an elected official were wrong and inexcusable in any context. That sentiment is what we would expect from a respectable organization.

Meghan Gill


(Gill is a member of the Newton Democratic Committee, District 4)

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