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Funke aide posts potentially offensive tweets

Rochester, N.Y. -- The campaign manager for Rich Funke, former local news anchor and Republican candidate for the state Senate's 55th District, posted potentially offensive tweets on his personal Twitter account in recent months.

"Very well said: Evan Sayet: Liberals are 'morally and intellectual retarded,'" Scott Santamaria tweeted April 1 in reference to a statement by comedian Evan Sayet.

In an Oct. 30 tweet, Santamaria referenced ObamaCare:


"Substandard!?! You mean men not having a plan that includes mammograms."

Santamaria, a veteran campaign strategist who worked both in Nebraska and Virginia prior to teaming up with Funke, sent two tweets that have since been deleted. A source sent screen shots of the tweets to 13WHAM News.

In March, the Democrat and Chronicle reported the person handling media communications for Funke, Peter Hong, had been convicted in a prostitution sting in Minnesota five years earlier. Funke told the paper he was unaware of the situation.

Funke provided the following statement to 13WHAM News:

"A tweet last year, this is news? This is the epitome of dirty, sleazy politics and just the kind of thing that voters shouldn't tolerate. The democrats can't attack my name and my standing in the community so they've decided to go after volunteers or staff for things that have nothing to do with me or the way I intend to conduct my campaign. They should be ashamed of themselves."

Josh Cherwin, executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, released the following statement:

"Funke has proven time and again, from opposing the Women's Equality Act to retaining a communications director who was arrested in a prostitution sting, that he is out of touch with the voters of Monroe and Ontario Counties and has no business serving in the State Senate."

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Washington Times