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Delaware's GOP Senate candidate faces backlash over social media posts

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Republican party faces calls from both sides of the aisle to distance itself from its candidate for U.S. Senate, Lauren Witzke.

Those calls follow social media posts from Witzke Friday night in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Within hours of Ginsburg’s death being announced, Witzke posted on Facebook that Ginsburg’s “obsession with abortion overtly singled out blacks and minorities for extermination." The post included a meme of three Black children dancing.

Witzke pulled the original post down – but reposted it later without the picture and saying it was temporarily removed because of threats to her and family.

The Delaware Democratic party's chairman Erik Raser-Schramm responded Saturday with a statement calling on the Delaware GOP to demand Witzke end her campaign.

"It’s the latest diatribe of vitriol from the GOP Senate nominee, who has also pushed white supremacy, anti-Semitism, flat-earthism, and September 11 conspiracy theories even as Delaware GOP Chair Jane Brady promotes her candidacy and fundraises for her campaign," said Raser-Schramm's statement. "Anything short of calling on Lauren Witzke to immediately end her candidacy for Senate would represent yet another failure of leadership by Chairwoman Brady."

Witzke's post also drew a public rebuke from Republican State Senator Anthony Delcollo in a Facebook post.

"This confirms what I have already come to believe; the candidate in question is unfit to lead. Someone willing to engage in such repugnant and reprehensible behavior should step aside so that an individual with the proper character and judgement may serve as a candidate in the November election," said Delcollo in his post. "I call upon candidate Witzke to suspend her campaign, immediately. I also ask that the Delaware Republican Party revoke their support for this candidate. Delaware deserves better."

GOP party chair Jane Brady called the post “crass and tasteless,” but would not discuss a formal response until meeting with Witzke Sunday.

"I’m going to see what she has to say,"  said Brady "She’s young. She’s a first-time candidate. I don’t know what her motivation was, what her intent was. It came across terribly.  It’s offensive.  And I’m just going to have to talk to her before I have enough information to make any decision like that."


But Brady added she is receiving negative feedback from many in the party.

"I think it has alienated – from everything I’ve seen – a number of people who are pro-life, but are offended by the comment.  So, it’s not just left-wing, pro-choice advocates that I’m hearing from.  And I need to addess it with her directly.”


Witzke won the right to be the GOP’s Senate candidate in Tuesday’s primary – defeating party endorsed candidate Jim DeMartino.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.