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State Rep. defends himself against claims he helped get challenger fired

Republican State Rep. Mike Ramone said he’s not responsible for his Democratic opponent losing her job at a nonprofit.

Stephanie Barry worked at PAWS for People for nearly 11 years before challenging Ramone for his 21st District seat.

She sent out a Facebook message saying her employer supported her campaign and asked for donations. Ramone said he asked PAWS for their policy to make sure the group wasn’t endorsing Barry or supporting her with state Grant-In-Aid funding.

Barry said her message only indicated PAWS okayed her run for political office. But she was fired about six weeks later.

Ramone said any claim he was trying to sabotage Barry’s campaign is untrue.

“I mean, there are some really credible Democrats in my district who are very good friends of mine who I do think could represent the district as good as me if not better," he said. "So, why would I go and fight and that I end up with a better opponent. I was perfectly fine with the opponent they gave me.”

Barry said she won’t speculate whether Ramone played a role in PAWS firing her on Aug. 27th.

“I’m a single parent, I just have to move forward," she said. "I don’t have the luxury to try to figure out what happened. I’m just trying to move forward.”

Ramone disputes he was concerned PAWS was using Grant-In-Aid funding to support Barry - despite copying the legislative budget official who controls the disbursement of those funds.

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