The chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party abruptly resigned today after a news report that he sent a sexually explicit photograph of himself to a female candidate who ran unsuccessfully for the Philadelphia City Council.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the chairman, Val DiGiorgio, sent the candidate, Irina Goldstein, a photo of his erect penis on Facebook Messenger after exchanging sexually tinged messages for a few months after she accepted his friend request last October.

DiGiorgio frequently commented about Goldstein’s appearance in those messages, which The Inquirer said ended in February when Goldstein accused DiGiorgio of sexual harassment.

“I extend my deepest apologies to my family and colleagues for this unfortunate distraction,” DiGiorgio wrote today in a resignation letter shared by the state Republican Party on its website.

DiGiorgio, however, disputed the lewd nature of his communications with Goldstein.

“A recent media report contains gross mischaracterizations of mutual consensual communications between myself and a former primary candidate,” he wrote. “My resignation should in no way be confused as confirmation of these mischaracterizations. I intend to rigorously defend myself against these assertions and protect my family, my colleagues, and the party from this private matter.”

The state Republican Party today named Bernadette Comfort as the acting chairwoman.

Goldstein finished last of seven candidates in the May primary.

In her messages to DiGiorgio, who is married with children, Goldstein, 35, mentioned that she had a boyfriend.

The Inquirer said Goldstein used sexually charged language in the flurry of messages.

“Is this what you do?” she was quoted by the newspaper as writing. “Make women blush and charm them into liking you — charm their pants off?”

DiGiorgio responded, “Think I can charm them off?”

The banter between party chairman and candidate turned even more lewd, when Goldstein asked DiGiorgio to send her a photograph of himself and suggested that he might likely choke her during intercourse.

Pennsylvania looms as a major battleground in next year’s presidential election.

In 2016, Donald Trump won the Keystone State by less than 1 percent over Hillary Clinton, securing all 20 of its electoral votes.


Attribution:The New York Times
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