A freshman Republican NJ assemblyman said he resigned last month because of "family matters"—but it's now come to light that Pat Delany's "family matters" had to do with his wife sending a racially-charged email to Carl Lewis, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist and Democratic state Senate candidate. "Imagine getting a court ruling overturned so your name could get put on the ballot. Imagine having dark skin and name recognition and the nerve to think that equalled knowing something about politics," wrote Jennifer Delany in an email to Lewis' campaign.
Delany, who had served in the Assembly since December, issued an apologetic statement this week when the details behind his resignation broke: "I am deeply disappointed in my wife's decision to send that e-mail to Mr. Lewis' campaign; it does not reflect my personal beliefs whatsoever. In an attempt to repair the serious damage this has caused to our marriage, and to protect our kids from public humiliation, I decided to leave public life. On behalf of my family, we sincerely apologize to Mr. Lewis for any pain this caused him."
Lewis, who is running for state Senate in New Jersey's 8th Legislative District, said he would rather focus on his campaign, and declined to speak about the incident. But Burlington County Republican Chairman Bill Layton didn't beat around the bush in regards to the email: "Former Assemblyman Pat Delany's wife inexplicably sent an offensive and racist email in response to a routine email from Carl Lewis' campaign; her actions were inexcusable."