GOP official runs for Virginia Senate after telling anti-Jewish joke at Cuccinelli event

A Republican official who called attention to himself earlier this year for telling an anti-Semtic joke at a campaign event for former gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli announced this week that he would be running for Virginia Senate.

"So you know, I'm a Catholic, and one of the things that we -- I, by the way I'm John Whitbeck. I'm the 10th District Chairman, one of the things that we celebrate recently is the new pope," 10th Congressional District Republican Committee Chairman John Whitbeck told a crowd at a September rally in Sterling. "And when the pope is elected, the head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper, it's very old and it dates back hundreds of years, and he puts in the pope's office and he ceremonially hands the piece of paper to the pope, the new pope. And then the new pope ceremonially rejects it."

"Well, this time around, the Pope said, 'I gotta find out what's on this piece of paper,'" Whitbeck continued. "So he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he looks at it, and he closes it [inaudible] and his Jewish counterpart says, 'What was it?'"

And then came the punch line: "And he says, 'That was the bill for the last supper.'"

He later insisted to the the Loudoun Times-Mirror that he first heard the joke from a priest.

"I did not tell an anti-Semitic joke," he said.

Whitbeck announced on Monday a bid to succeed Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring after he was certified as winning the state's attorney general race by just 165 votes.

However, Whitbeck said that he would also support Republican candidate for attorney general Mark Obenshain in a recount.

"[A]s Mark [Obenshain] agrees, we need to be prepared to run this campaign depending on what happens with the recount," a statement from Whitbeck said.

Watch this video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 17, 2013.

(h/t: Blue Virginia)