State Rep. Martin Harty (R-NH) has resigned from the New Hampshire House of Representatives following his comment to a constituent that mentally challenged people and other “defective” people should die in a modern-day Siberia.
Harty, who is 91, apologized for the comment and his party leaders treated his gaffe somewhat gingerly until now. William O’Brien, speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, issued this statement:
Representative Harty came to my office today to offer his resignation in person. We both agreed that this is what is best for the House to move forward and focus on critical issues, like balancing our budget without raising taxes and giving the voters an opportunity to pass a school funding amendment to ensure local control. We will move quickly to request a special election to fill this vacancy.
Harty’s resignation letter will be read on the floor of the New Hampshire House Tuesday, at which point the office will become vacant.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.