Mike Krawitz: Republican NJ Township Candidate Forced To Quit Race After He Allegedly Called For Rape Of Female Journalist Olivia Nuzzi

On Monday, the race for a local New Jersey township suddenly received national attention after the news that a Republican candidate had been harassing a journalist online. Michael Krawitz was soon asked to quit the race for the West Deptford Township Committee in Gloucester County after the reporter showed that he had messaged her saying that he hopes somebody would rape her.

News of the Republican hopeful’s alleged harassment of The Daily Beast‘s journalist Olivia Nuzzi spread very quickly after she wrote a post calling attention to his latest words. For his part, Mike Krawitz tried to say that he was not the one who had posted the hateful message wishing rape on the journalist and that his account had been hacked.

Initially, the township Republican leaders had been prepared to support their candidate and had released a statement about his being hacked; however, they later stated that after a review of the facts in the case, they “could not find any reasonable reason to believe Krawitz’s account was hacked in anyway.” Following this, the chairman of the West Deptford Republican Committee, Bob Waller, called on the candidate to withdraw.

Krawitz has unsuccessfully run for office in West Deptford more than once and was only selected to represent the party this time around after he received 19 write-in votes during the primary. The Republican Party said that on Tuesday, the candidate at the center of the controversy notified them that he was dropping out of the race by sending them a hand-written note, signed Michael Krawitz, which they have verified for authenticity.

“I am officially withdrawing as a candidate for the Republican Party in the election on November 8, 2016 for West Deptford Township committee.”

Krawitz was still maintaining that his account was hacked and that he did not make the post on the New Jersey-based journalist’s Facebook post, but the article and Nuzzi’s Twitter showed not one but two direct messages from Krawitz’s account telling the journalist that he hopes she gets raped: one said that he hopes it happens that day while the other message said that he hoped a Syrian refugee was the one who raped her. The comments came under an article Nuzzi had promoted about Marla Maples, the ex-wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“I. Hope. Somebody. Rapes. You. Today. :).”

“Hope. You. Get. Raped. By. A. Syrian. Refugee. :).”

Olivia Nuzzi was quick to disqualify the candidate’s claims of hacking though, stating that he has actually been harassing her since 2014, and to protest the claims the Republican made she tweeted a copy of a comment he had posted to her back on August 10. The way Krawitz allegedly sent his rape message is the exact same way he typed the previous messages, with a period after each word, capitalizing the first letter of each word and ending it with a smiley face.

Nuzzi’s article made mention of the fact that as a female journalist, she has often been the target of internet trolls with hateful speech, but never before has a politician actively running for a post called for her rape or assault before. While the journalist also said that she believes the presidential candidacy of Republican Donald Trump has opened the gates for a sexist attack on a woman to be labeled as just “telling it like it is,” she does believe that most voters in New Jersey and across the country do not agree with such a hateful rhetoric.

On Tuesday, both the Facebook profiles for Mike Krawitz and also for the West Deptford GOP were not in operation following the social media scandal.

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