The chairman of the Manchester Republican town committee has been labeled "sexist" by opponents after writing a letter that was published in a local newspaper.
John Deeb called on people to vote Republican; however, many felt his message went too far.
Rep. Kelly Luxenberg told Eyewitness News on Tuesday that she thought Deeb's letter was very sexist. She said he asked her to stay home with her family rather than represent the people of the 12th District.
Deeb, though, doesn't think he was being sexist at all.
He said he wrote it to support fellow Republicans.
"It's certainly not the first time I've experienced sexism in this role, but it is disappointing that a chairman of a political party saying those things and denounces women everywhere not just in public office," Luxenberg said.
Luxenberg said she was mentioned in the letter because she's seeking a second term to represent Manchester.
Deeb called for "making a change of the people who are in charge."
Republican John Topping is challenging Luxenberg.
In the letter, Deeb mentioned Topping winning over Luxenberg so she would be able to stay home with her family.
"Many of us do not have a choice and many women are working to support families fully," Luxenberg said. "So to make that kind of comment, to sending me back home to take care of my family is an insult to all of us who are working."
Luxenberg's husband previously held the seat and retired to spend time with family.
However, she said she jumped on the chance to represent her district.
Deeb didn't want to go on camera; however, he told Eyewitness News over the phone that he wasn't being sexist. He said he was only stating what Luxenberg's husband stated when he retired from his position.
Luxenberg, who has a 2-year-old, said she doesn't want an apology.
"Challenge me on my values, challenge me on my voting record, but don't challenge me on the fact I have a child at home," she said.
In response to the letter, some local officials are holding an anti-sexism support rally. That is set for Wednesday at the steps of Cheney Hall on 177 Hartford Rd. in Manchester.
The rally will feature Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, Luxenberg, Sen. Mae Flexer and other lawmakers.
It begins at 4 p.m.
Deeb's whole letter can be found on the Journal Inquirer's website here.
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