‘Kate’s a [BLEEP]!’ — Should NJ lawmaker resign over what he called opponent?
The New Jersey lawmaker with a Confederate flag tattoo isn't waving the white flag of surrender after he was caught on tape repeatedly calling his Democratic opponent "a bitch."
Democrats this week called on Assemblyman Parker Space, R-Sussex, to resign after audio surfaced of him disparaging Kate Matteson using the offense pejorative for women. He also believes that she is an "elitist 1 percenter."
In a clip obtained by New Jersey 101.5 this week, Space can be heard speaking with Democratic state Senate candidate Jennifer Hamilton, telling her that her Assembly running mate, Kate Matteson, is a "bitch" — which he says three times.
“I don’t know about Gina; I’ve never talked to her," he says, also referring to Matteson's Assembly running mate, Gina Trish.
Space, who is seeking re-election in a conservative district that votes reliably for Republicans, already made headlines this month when he shared online a photo of him standing in front of a Confederate flag with the image of Hank Williams Jr.
"Tailgating waiting for Hank," he said. "Hope no one is offended! LOL"
Following some backlash, Space threatened to sue Democrats over the controversy.
This week Space shrugged off criticism of his remarks by calling on all Democrats to take a lie detector test to see if they have ever used the same word.
"Afterwards, we can all resign together," he said.
Matteson released a statement after the audio clip was first published by Politico New Jersey, saying her opponent "showed lack of character and bad judgement."
Matteson said she was not able to defend herself because was not present at the drug forum where Space made his comments.
"Make no mistake that these actions reflect his callous and ineffective voting record that gets us nowhere in Trenton," she said. "A fitting example of this is his abstention from a vote which 'requires health insurance coverage for treatment of substance abuse disorders.'"
Gov. Chris Christie on Friday said it was "not good" for Space "to say those things."
Space, whose family owns and operates Space Farms Zoo and Museum, is running with Assembly candidate Hal Wirths and state Sen. Steve Oroho in the 24th District.
All legislative seats are up for grabs in November.
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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.