Ohio Politician Questioned for Running as a Young Mom

Jennifer Herold has two sons, ages 1 and 3
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2016 7:36 AM CST
Jennifer Herold and her husband have two sons, ages 1 and 3.   (Jennifer Herold)

(Newser) – Ohio state Sen. Tom Patton is a term-limited Republican who's now going after an Ohio House seat, and he's running against a real "sweetie." At least, that's what the 62-year-old called his chief Republican opponent in a radio interview last week, but it's a separate comment he made about Jennifer Herold that has drawn the most fire. In a Jan. 18 interview with Ed Ferenc on the America's Work Force radio show, he questioned why Herold is running while being a young mother, reports the Columbus Dispatch. "The gal that's running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of 2 infants," he said. "I don't know if anybody explained to her you have to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you? I waited until I was 48, 'til my kids were raised, and at least adults."

Herold, who has 1-year-old and 3-year-old sons, took to Facebook with a lengthy response in which she asked whether the current legislators with children, mothers and fathers alike, are "all unfit to serve." She added: "Tom, only one man in my life is allowed to call me 'sweetie.' From now on, I respectfully ask you to refer to me as Jen, Jennifer, Ms. Herold, or your opponent." Cleveland.com reports Patton has followed up with his own statement in which he "sincerely" apologizes and says his comments were "misunderstood." He notes that "millions of women" balance work and family every day, including his own daughters: "I used a poor choice of words to express what I know first-hand—raising young children and working is tough." The two will face off in the March 15 GOP primary.

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