A candidate running for a seat in the Minnesota House has dropped out of the race after sending a tweet about the Islamic State that he says got "badly misinterpreted."
Dan Kimmel of Burnsville was running for state representative of District 56A, which includes Savage and part of Burnsville, in the 2016 election, when he tweeted saying "ISIS isn't necessarily evil."
The tweet quickly drew negative reaction on Twitter, and prompted DFL party leaders to release statements saying they condemned his comments. (Read more on that below.)
A few hours later, Kimmel tried to clear things up with another tweet:
But the damage was done, and on Sunday morning, he released a statement announcing he was dropping out of the race, explaining his tweet was not in response to what happened in Paris, but instead to a statement made during the presidential debate Saturday night.
"[My tweet] was poorly worded and did not convey my intent," the statement said.
It continued, "I am very sorry for 'spreading ick' on other candidates and the DFL party. I will do everything I can to help resolve the issue: most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry."
He told the Star Tribune the tweet "was not interpreted as I intended. It was so badly misinterpreted."
The Internet, DFL leaders react
Kimmel's tweet got the attention of a few hundred people on Twitter. By 6 a.m. Sunday, the tweet had been retweeted 222 times, liked 68 times, and dozens of people had replied to it (many
" target="_blank">with negative comments).
It also got the attention from Reddit users, with many saying people like Hitler and Stalin also thought they were doing what was "best for their community."
It also drew a swift response from local Democratic party leaders. DFL Chairman Ken Martin released a statement on behalf of the party, saying:
“Earlier tonight a candidate for the Minnesota House made comments that do not reflect the views of the Minnesota DFL and 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. In this time of enormous grief, we shouldn’t be making excuses for this barbaric behavior.”
And DFL leader of the House of Representatives Paul Thissen also
" target="_blank">released a statement and addressed the tweet on Twitter.
He didn't initially call for Kimmel to drop out of the race, but when asked by someone on Twitter if the DFL party was going to urge Kimmel to drop out of the race, Thissen
" target="_blank">tweeted "yes."