TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Republican candidate for the state Assembly dropped out of the race after a book he wrote surfaced that includes rants against Asians, gays, immigrants, breast-feeding moms and others.
Anthony Cappola acknowledged he wrote the book 12 years ago and said in a statement he has dropped out of the northern New Jersey race.
"I'm sorry if I offended anyone and deeply regret what was written," he said. "I am not the same person I was twelve years ago, but I take responsibility for what I wrote and have chosen to bow out of the race."
The Assembly is at the top of the ticket this November, and Republicans hope to challenge Democrats for the majority in the chamber. Democrats now control it 48-32.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick condemned the comments.
"It's obviously never helpful to lose a candidate based on his comments," Bramnick said. "My job is to move on and focus on the major issues affecting the state."
Bramnick said he is speaking with election lawyers about getting another candidate on the ballot since the filing deadline has passed.
Each Assembly district has two seats in New Jersey, with Democrats and Republicans typically fielding a two-person ticket. Cappola's running mate, Mark DiPisa, said in a statement he felt betrayed and called the rants "offensive garbage."
"As soon as I heard what was written in this book, I picked up the phone and told him to drop out immediately," DiPisa said. "I made it clear to him that if he didn't drop out of the race, I would."
Cappola takes aim at numerous groups in the 223-page book titled "Outrageous!" often in paragraphs with grammatical errors.
In one section he stereotypes Asians as bad drivers.
"Stay off the road ! Or at least get some extra, extra driving lessons!!" Cappola wrote.
In another he says gay people should keep their "sexual preference" behind doors "like normal people do."
"But like the rest of normal humanity keep your preference behind doors like normal people do!! You don't see heterosexuals with parades, national days, and months, special amusement park closings, and flags," he wrote.
In another section he tells breast-feeding moms to "put it back wear in came from!!!"
Politico New Jersey first reported the news.