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PoliticsOhio GOP leader tells Rep. Candice Keller to resign over Dayton shooting Facebook post

01:10  06 august  2019
01:10  06 august  2019 Source:   cincinnati.com

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COLUMBUS - Ohio Republican Party leader Jane Timken has called on Rep. Candice Keller to resign from her Butler County seat after the lawmaker's "shocking" comments about Sunday's mass shooting in Dayton.

Ohio GOP leader tells Rep. Candice Keller to resign over Dayton shooting Facebook post© Sam Greene/The Enquirer Representative Candice Keller listens to statements in the House of Representatives at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Keller, R-Middletown, posted on Facebook Sunday comments that blamed "drag queen advocates," the Democratic Congress, former President Barack Obama, violent video games and the hatred of veterans for the deaths of nine people and the shooter in Dayton early Sunday.

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Ohio GOP leader tells Rep. Candice Keller to resign over Dayton shooting Facebook post© Provided Candace Keller post

Her comments drew the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said on Twitter Monday that Keller should resign, tweeting "shame shame."

And on Monday afternoon, Timken called for Keller's resignation as well.

“While our nation was in utter shock over the acts of violence in El Paso and Dayton, Republican State Representative Candice Keller took to social media to state why she thought these acts were happening," Timken said in a statement. "Candice Keller’s Facebook post was shocking and utterly unjustifiable. Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness.”

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Timken has not spoken with Keller personally about the GOP leader's decision to ask for Keller's resignation, Ohio Republican Party spokesman Evan Machan said.

Keller did not respond to a request for comment by The Enquirer on Monday afternoon.

Keller is not obligated to resign. Ohio lawmakers can be voted out of office or removed from their position if they are convicted of a felony.

Another less-used method in the Ohio Constitution allows for the removal of a lawmaker via a vote of two-thirds of the Ohio House of Representatives. Elected officials can also be removed for "any misconduct involving moral turpitude" after a complaint and hearing.

Lawmakers can also be censured, essentially an official reprimand, for poor behavior. That happened in 1997 to Butler County Rep. Mike Fox for accepting travel and lodging from a lobbyist.

Timken's request was unusual for the chairwoman, who often avoids publicity and rarely gets in the middle of political fights. This is the first time Timken has called on an Ohio official to resign since she was chosen to lead the party in January 2017.

Exclusive video shows Dayton gunman Connor Betts in bar in hours before shooting

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When former Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, was arrested after he had passed out at a McDonald's drive-thru, Timken offered a cautious statement: "If these allegations are true, Representative Retherford should resign from office.”

Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, has not spoken with Keller, an Ohio House spokeswoman said.

Keller, who lives about 25 miles from Dayton, is running for an Ohio Senate seat currently held Sen. Bill Coley, who is term-limited. Her GOP challengers include Rep. George Lang and West Chester Township Trustee Lee Wong.

Keller is the executive director of a Christian pregnancy resource center and made headlines for comparing Planned Parenthood to Nazis. She also spoke on a white power advocate's radio show. Keller has also pushed for banning so-called sanctuary cities .

More: Southwest Ohio politician blames shootings on 'drag queen advocates' and open borders

More: Who is conservative Ohio lawmaker Candice Keller? 5 things to know

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio GOP leader tells Rep. Candice Keller to resign over Dayton shooting Facebook post

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usr: 1
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