McKenna staffer resigns over tweets about Asians, elderly

A member of Republican Rob McKenna’s campaign for governor resigned Wednesday because of two tweets she sent making fun of Asians and of the elderly.

“After consulting with the leaders of our Asian American Coalition, members of our Seattle Steering Committee, and several others I reached out to, I accepted Kathlyn Ehl’s resignation from our campaign this morning,” said Randy Pepple, manager of the McKenna campaign, said in a press release.

Pepple said Ehl had been suspended without pay after the tweets became public Monday. The resignation came after a meeting Ehl had with the campaign’s Asian American Coalition.

“I felt it was important to provide an opportunity for our Asian American Coalition leaders, who have spent countless hours over the last year working to advance our campaign in their community, to let Kathlyn know how hurtful her comments were to them. It was important for her to thoroughly understand their feelings and to apologize to them for her comments.

News of the tweets broke first in The Stranger, a Seattle-based newspaper, on Monday.

Ehl sent one tweet in November, and another in January, both before she started work with the McKenna campaign. The November tweet criticized elderly people for taking too long to cross the street. The January one read: “shut up and speak english — asians.”

Ehl issued an apology Monday.

McKenna called the comments “offensive and inappropriate” and lauded her for the apology. He gave no indication in his statement that she had been suspended without pay.

He said: “She has done the right thing by apologizing. I am hopeful that she has learned a humbling lesson that will give her greater perspective about having charity in her heart when considering the challenges faced by others.”

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