Ohio's Republican Party is asking a statehouse candidate to withdraw after he admitted to setting up an account for a dating service for people who are already married.
GOP candidate Joe Dills, who touts his family values credentials in campaign materials, disclosed Friday that he set up an account on the Ashley Madison website in 2013, but insisted he was single at the time and did not actively meet with anyone, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“Mr. Dills crossed a line by joining this lewd and inappropriate website," said state GOP chair Jane Timken. "I call for his immediate withdrawal from the race. There is no place in our party for people that exercise such a gross lack of judgment.”
Dills, an Air Force veteran who owns an auto fuel filter cleaning business, has been endorsed by both the Clermont County Republican Party and Ohio Republican Party in his GOP primary campaign against former U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt and Dillon Blevins, a NRA-certified pistol instructor.
Schmidt denied involvement in the revelation, which the former congresswoman called a "cheap shot."
The Ashley Madison revelation came after Dills was endorsed by Ohio Value Voters, which promotes "faith, life, marriage, family and religious freedom," but the candidate removed a post on the endorsement from his Facebook page.
"As Vice President Mike Pence has said," Dills wrote last month in an Enquirer op-ed, "'I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order.' My faith tells me our rights come from God and that those rights belong to everyone, including the unborn. I am a conservative because I believe the success of the American people lies within each one of us, not within the government. As a Republican, I am committed to the ideals of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers."
Dills' wife posted a statement of support on her husband's Facebook page.
“Joe will be the first to tell you of the mistakes he has made and how God has transformed him,” wrote Nikea Dills. “I watched as God took a lost broken man and began to shape him and form him into the good Godly man with incredible morals and values that he is today.”