PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Stacey Kafka, press secretary for Bud Pierce, has left the GOP gubernatorial nominee’s campaign because of comments the candidate made about violence against women at a debate Friday.
“As a young woman, I was greatly offended by what was said at the Portland City Club (debate), and that is why I am no longer with the Bud Pierce campaign,” Kafka said.
Pierce made the comments in a response to a question about what the candidates would do to improve the lot of women in Oregon. The question made reference to a recent report showing that Oregon women experience sexual assault and domestic violence at a greater rate than the national average.
“A woman that has great education and training and a great job is not susceptible to this kind of abuse by men,” Pierce said.
He made the comment after Gov. Kate Brown answered the question and publicly disclosed in her response that she has been a victim of domestic violence. He later apologized to Brown and others who were offended by his comments. He told the Pamplin Media Group/EO Media Group that he misstated his words and had meant to say that women who are educated and who have resources are better able to escape abusive situations.
Kafka, 25, said that she resigned two hours after the debate between Pierce and Brown. “As a strong woman, I felt I needed to stand for my moral values,” Kafka said.
The Pierce campaign reported Monday that Kafka resigned for personal reasons. Kafka is engaged to Jacob Daniels, Oregon state director for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
On Friday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Trump was pulling Daniels — his lone paid campaign staff member in Oregon — out of the state. The Trump campaign sent Daniels to Michigan instead, where Trump is trying to gain a lead on Clinton.
Kafka said her decision had nothing to do with Daniels’ new assignment. She has no plans to move to Michigan, as some Republicans were suggesting on Twitter.
Pierce recently yanked his endorsement of Trump because of Trump’s offensive comments. The Salem oncologist said at the time that he had no plans to vote for Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
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“I haven’t paid much attention to Donald Trump until this campaign honestly,” Pierce said at Friday’s debate. “I don’t like reality TV, but it’s clear to me from the language he uses and what he says and how he offends people.”
Kafka, a former reporter for KEZI 9 in Eugene, joined the Pierce campaign in June.
Nellie deVries of deVries Public Affairs is serving as Pierce’s new press secretary.
deVries said Monday the campaign has no further comment on Kafka’s departure.