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Lawmaker resigns after wife sends racist email to Carl Lewis

GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 8/25/2011, 11:18 a.m.

A Republican assemblyman abruptly resigned earlier this month after his wife's racist and offensive email attack against former Olympian and State Senate hopeful Carl Lewis went viral on the Internet last month.

Patrick Delaney, 42, stepped down as Assemblyman for the 8th Legislative District in southern New Jersey effective Aug. 12, after his wife Jennifer's scathing, bigoted email to Lewis' campaign offices became public. Her comments criticized the ex-Olympian's bid for a seat on the New Jersey Senate. The email said, "Imagine having dark skin and name recognition and the nerve to think that equaled knowing something about politics."

Burlington County officials confirmed that the email caused a great deal of embarrassment to the Republican Party and added, "Pat Delaney decided to leave office to shield his children from a hurtful and embarrassing public spectacle involving their mother." Delaney apologized for the comments made by his wife.

Lewis has been at odds with state lawmakers regarding his bid for a seat on the New Jersey State Senate. Key legislators, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, contend that Lewis has not met the state residency requirements and is ineligible to run. Lewis has filed at least two lawsuits disputing the rejection, claiming that he has owned a home in New Jersey since 2005.

Finally, bloggers have called the comments made by Jennifer Delaney "embarrassing" and "disgraceful." One blogger wrote, "I guess Jennifer never really got behind the whole political hubby thing."