Republican State Senator Tom Patton of Strongsville, OH is getting backlash for comments he made on the America's Work Force radio show on January 18. On the show, he questioned whether his main opponent for the seat, Jennifer Herold, would be able to handle the duties of a job in the state legislature due to her being a mom with young children. Surprisingly, this didn't go over well with some people, including Herold herself.
“The gal that’s running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants,” he said on the show. “I don’t know if anybody explained to her you have to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you? I waited until I was 48, until my kids were raised, and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try.” Ah, nothing like a man calling an adult woman who he barely knows a "gal."
Herold, whose "infants" are aged one and three, issued a written response to Patton. She said that her family took her decision to run very seriously and went on: “We realize the sacrifice that is involved in holding such a position. However, Tom Patton has crossed a line by trying to turn the fact that I am a mother of two children into a negative campaign issue. It’s insulting for my opponent to suggest that motherhood is a liability. In fact, my experience as a mom is perhaps my greatest strength."
In a statement to the Cleveland "Plain Dealer" Patton apologized (kind of), saying his comments "appear to have been misunderstood" and that he "used a poor choice of words to express what [he knows] first-hand—raising young children and working is tough."