ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state senator apologized Tuesday for what he called a “poor choice of words” after sending a tweet to a legislative staffer urging her to kill herself.
Democrat Kevin Parker’s tweet to Republican Senate aide Candice Giove consisted of only two words: “Kill yourself!” It came after Giove took to Twitter to accuse Parker of misusing a Senate parking placard in Manhattan.
Parker quickly deleted the tweet and later apologized in another message sent to Giove. Messages were left with his office. First elected in 2002, the Brooklyn lawmaker won re-election last month and was recently named the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
“I used a poor choice of words,” he wrote. “Suicide is a serious thing and and (sic) should not be made light of.”
Commenters on Twitter quickly condemned the remarks, with some urging Parker to resign.
The Senate’s incoming leader, Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins, released a statement welcoming Parker’s apology.
“I was disappointed in Senator Parker’s tweet,” Stewart-Cousins wrote. “Suicide is a serious issue and should not be joked about in this manner. I am glad that he has apologized.”
Giove is a spokeswoman for the Senate’s Republican conference. The Senate’s Republican leader, Long Island Sen. John Flanagan, called on Parker’s Democratic colleagues to “reprimand” him for the comments.
“There is simply no place for discourse like this in politics, in government, or anywhere,” Flanagan said.