A Democrat’s dreams of serving in the Minnesota State House came to an ignominious end earlier this afternoon. Dan Kimmel, who was running for the state house district 56A, announced that he was ending his campaign after he tweeted that ISIS “isn’t necessarily evil” on Saturday, according to the Star Tribune. Minnesota Democratic Party Chair Ken Martin had called on Kimmel to apologize, with State House Minority Leader Paul Thissen releasing a statement of how own calling for Kimmel to apologize and drop out of the race:
“I’m folding up the campaign tent,” Kimmel told the Star Tribune. He later issued a written apology and called his tweet “stupid,” adding that it’s probably best for him to “shut up” for the time being.
Kimmel said in the interview that the posting “was not interpreted as I intended. It was so badly misinterpreted.” He added that he was dropping out of the race “to remove the ick” from his party.
On Saturday, Kimmel wrote on Twitter: “ISIS isn’t necessarily evil. It is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community. Violence is not the answer, though.”
The response on Twitter included rebukes and puzzlement: “What in the world are you talking about??!” and “Kind of like the Nazis, Stalin or Pol Pot,” read two replies.
Kimmel, 63, tried to explain himself, posting in a follow-up, “I deplore evil acts of ISIS. I do not defend their acts.” Kimmel’s tweets also were posted on his campaign’s Facebook page.
In further elaboration on Sunday, Kimmel wrote on his campaign’s website, “My tweet last evening was in response to a statement made during the candidate debates, not in response to the activities in Paris. It was poorly worded and did not convey my intent.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said in a statement that Kimmel’s “views … have no place in our party. On behalf of the Minnesota DFL, I strongly condemn his comments. I ask Dan Kimmel to apologize to all the families who have been torn apart by the terrorist organization and their senseless violence.”
The Tribune added the Kimmel has apologized to his volunteers and donors over the fallout from the tweet.
Across the pond, a Paris neighborhood actually isn’t all the upset with ISIS over the attack. So, I guess some people are actually adopting these remarks, regardless of intent or context. Also, this is why you hire a communications director, or someone to handle your Twitter account for you, so incidents like this don’t happen–or are reduced significantly.
Kimmel would have had a re-match with Republican Drew Christensen, who won the seat in 2014 by 12 percentage points.