Senator Implies Opponent Shouldn't Run For Office As A 'Young Mother'

by
Cierra Bailey
Republican Ohio Senator, Tom Patton, belittled his female opponent for Ohio House in a radio interview by questioning her ability to work while raising two infants and calling her a "young gal."

"The gal that's running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants, and I don't know if anybody explained to her we've got to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you?”

Those were the words spoken by Senate Majority Leader Tom Patton (R-OH) who is currently running for the Ohio House of Representatives.

Patton suggested during a radio interview that his female opponent, Jennifer Herold, shouldn’t be running for office because she is a young mother of two infants.

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He further drilled in his point by saying, “I waited until I was 48 and my kids were raised, and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try.”

Sorry Patton, but perhaps your inability to handle running for office while raising your children speaks more to your weaknesses than Herold’s.

While speaking of Herold, Patton used very patronizing and demeaning language, referring to her as a “young gal” and “sweetie.” 

Upon hearing Patton’s remarks, Herold did not sit quietly and allow him to degrade her.

“In a district that is composed of over 50 percent women, with many parents who successfully balance demanding jobs as well as a family, there is no place for this kind of anti-working parent mentality," she reportedly said in a statement. She called Patton’s comments about her “insulting and discriminatory.”

She went on to denounce Patton's unwelcome pet name for her: "Only one man in my life is allowed to call me 'sweetie,'” referring to her husband.

Patton offered a very generic apology, insisting his words were misunderstood.

“As a widower who raised five daughters, it was not my intention to suggest that a young mother couldn't serve ably in the legislature," he said. "I used a poor choice of words to express what I know first-hand -- raising young children and working is tough. Millions of women do just that every day, including my own daughters. I would ask to be judged on my hard work and advocacy for working families. I sincerely apologize if my words were misplaced on this matter."

Well, Patton, as a widower who raised five daughters, you should have known not to make those kinds of insulting remarks about Herold’s home life in the first place. 

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