Republican California congressional candidate Carl DeMaio appears to have made fun of a top campaign staffer for his Democratic opponent by circulating a photo of an overweight woman wearing only a bra and eating a Twinkie.
San Diego City Beat reported on Monday that DeMaio sent an email to two staffers, spokesman Dave McCulluch and and former policy director Todd Bosnich, with a subject line that read “Kate Lyon,” which is the name of the deputy campaign manager for Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), who DeMaio is challenging. The email only included a picture of the woman, who is not Lyon.
The City Beat report follows a story from The Washington Examiner that reported in another email chain DeMaio campaign manager Tommy Knepper said good ways to tell if someone at a campaign event is an opposition tracker is if they are African American or young. Knepper later apologized for those emails.
Bosnich, is the former campaign staffer who has accused DeMaio of sexual harassment. DeMaio has strongly denied Bosnich’s charges.
“Me and Dave (Communications Director) were pretty shocked because we both know Kate, and while we don’t agree with her politically she is very well respected on both sides. Neither of us responded,” Bosnich told TPM that he and McCulluch didn’t respond to the email.
The Peters campaign called the email “despicable” in a statement from spokesman Alex Roth:
Kate Lyon is one of the most experienced and respected members of our staff. She previously worked as an attorney, for NARAL Pro-Choice America and for Planned Parenthood. It is disgusting and despicable that this champion for women’s rights, or any woman, would be demeaned this way. I wish I could say it is shocking, but coming from Carl DeMaio, nothing is shocking.
TPM did not immediately get a response from the DeMaio campaign.
See an entire photo of the email, via San Diego City Beat, below:
This post was updated.