Pennsylvania Republican party chairman resigns amid sexting scandal

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

Pennsylvania Republican party chairman resigns amid sexting scandal

The report, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, said 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 in 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 Tuesday 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 on Tuesday 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 reported.

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, with The Inquirer reporting that Goldstein asked DiGiorgio to send her a photograph of himself and suggested that he might likely choke her during intercourse.

Reached by email Tuesday afternoon, Goldstein asked that questions be sent to her. She did not immediately reply.

Michael A. Schwartz, DiGiorgio’s lawyer and a former federal prosecutor, said in an interview Tuesday that he needed to speak with his client before commenting.

Pennsylvania looms as a major battleground in next year’s presidential election. In 2016, Donald Trump won the Keystone State by less than 1% over Hillary Clinton, securing all 20 of its electoral votes.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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