MANCHESTER, N.H. — State Representative Richard Komi (D-Manchester) is facing criticism after a tweet he made on Friday disputing sexual assault claims made by Tara Reade, a former staffer of former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.
In the tweet, Komi disputed Reade’s claim that Biden inserted his fingers into her vagina, saying that would not be possible without “cooperation.”
When reached for comment on Friday evening, Komi had remorse for how he shared his opinion, but not for his support of Biden.
“I wish I had worded my words more appropriately. It was not intended to lessen the pain that sexual assault survivors face all their lives,” he said “I do not believe Joe (Biden) is the type of person who would do anything to hurt a woman.”
The New Hampshire Republican Party released a statement on Twitter calling out state Democrats for Komi’s comments. The New Hampshire Democratic Party echoed a call from New Hampshire House of Representatives Speaker Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord) that Komi should resign.
“Representative Komi’s comment is wrong, inappropriate, and offensive to all Democrats, and does not reflect the values of our party,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.
Komi said he has been in discussions with Shurtleff over the comment and will not make an immediate decision over resignation from the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Komi, a former refugee who was resettled to the United States in 1999 and was sent to Manchester, was first elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in November 2008 and served from 2009 to 2010, according to his official statehouse bio. He is one of three State Representatives from Hillsborough District 43, which consists of Manchester Wards 4,5,6,7, and is serving his second term.
UPDATE: The New Hampshire Union Leader is reporting that Komi submitted his letter of resignation late on Friday. An associate of Komi told Manchester Ink Link that he was not available for comment on Saturday morning.