State Representative candidate withdraws from race after saying ISIS “isn’t necessarily evil”

Well…yeah, I have no idea what happened here.

As of last week, Dan Kimmel, a Democrat, was a candidate for State Representative in Minnesota.  That changed after this tweet:

KimmelTweet1

I cannot, for the life of me, understand what Mr. Kimmel was going for here.  He followed it up with this tweet:

KimmelTweet2

Obviously, this was way too late, and the damage was done.  The tweet came after ISIS had taken responsibility for last week’s devastating Paris terrorist attacks that killed 129 and injured hundreds more, and Mr. Kimmel’s tweet essentially implied that ISIS is just a group of misunderstood community organizers.

Probably not the message that he was going for.

Kimmel was roundly criticized for the tweet, including by Democratic leaders in Minnesota, who called for his withdrawal from the race. In a statement, the head of the Minnesota DFL (Democratic Party in Minnesota) said, “On behalf of the Minnesota DFL, I strongly condemn his comments. I ask Dan Kimmel to apologize to all the families who have been torn apart by the terrorist organization and their senseless violence.”

To his credit – and to my surprise – Kimmel responded, not only with a full-throated apology, but by withdrawing from the race.  In a statement on his campaign website, Kimmel clarified that his tweet was made in reference to comments which occurred in the Democratic Presidential debate, not the Paris terrorist attacks.  He said that his tweet was “poorly worded and did not convey my intent.”  He then added that he wanted to:

…apologize to the volunteers and contributors who have put so much time, effort and money into my campaign. … I will do everything I can to help resolve the issue: most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry.

This is actually kinda sad.  I cannot imagine that Mr. Kimmel was going out of his way to say, “Hey, ISIS isn’t so bad, they’re just misunderstood!”  That being said, it was a dumb tweet – no excuses.  To Mr. Kimmel’s credit, he recognized that the comments made him completely uneelectable as a candidate, and withdrew.  The lesson here is obvious: Be very, very careful with what you say, and how you say it!

Tweets and Consequences

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