GOP lawmaker quits over wife's racist Carl Lewis email

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Republican official says a freshman New Jersey lawmaker resigned because his wife sent “an offensive and racist” email to the Democratic state Senate campaign of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.

Burlington County Republican Chairman Bill Layton acknowledged Monday that Pat Delany stepped down from the Assembly this month because of his wife’s missive to Lewis’ campaign.

The Delanys are white. Lewis is black.

Jennifer Delany’s email said, “Imagine having dark skin and name recognition and the nerve to think that equalled knowing something about politics.”

Layton says Pat Delany decided to leave office to shield his children from “a hurtful and embarrassing public spectacle involving their mother.” Delaney says he’s sorry.

Lewis and Republicans have been fighting over whether he meets the state’s residency requirement for candidates. He has lived in Texas and California.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.