Pennsylvania’s Republican party chair announced he’d be resigning today after a sexting scandal was revealed, according to the New York Times.
Earlier on Tuesday, a report emerged that GOP chairman Val DiGiorgio had sent Irina Goldstein, a political climber and former Philadelphia City Council candidate, a photo of his erect penis. DiGiorgio and Goldstein had apparently exchanged sexual messages on Facebook Messenger for several months prior to the photo. The story was originally reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
After the exchanges were made public today, DiGiorgio quickly announced he would resign.
“I extend my deepest apologies to my family and colleagues for this unfortunate distraction,” DiGiorgio wrote in a resignation letter.
DiGiorgio, however, says the exchanges with Goldstein were consensual.
“A recent media report contains gross mischaracterizations of mutual consensual communications between myself and a former primary candidate,” he wrote in his letter. “My resignation should in no way be confused as confirmation of these mischaracterizations. I intend to rigorously defend myself against these assertions and protect my family, my colleagues, and the party from this private matter.”
According to the Inquirer, the relationship began when Goldstein messaged DiGiorgio on Facebook.
“I’m running for City Council,” she messaged him. “Next time you’re in Philly, I’d be honored to buy you coffee.”
Goldstein ended up finishing seventh in her primary.
Joel Frank, the general counsel for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, told the Inquirer that the messages were “mutual private exchanges between adults” and called Goldstein’s claims “a mischaracterization, incomplete and defamatory.”
Things really don’t look great for either of the two.
From the Times:
In her messages to Mr. DiGiorgio, who is married with children, Ms. Goldstein, 35, mentioned that she had a boyfriend, The Inquirer reported.
The Inquirer said Ms. Goldstein used sexually charged language in the flurry of messages.
“Is this what you do?” she was quoted by the newspaper as writing. “Make women blush and charm them into liking you — charm their pants off?”
Mr. DiGiorgio responded, “Think I can charm them off?”
Things got even more intense after that, with Goldstein suggesting she’d like DiGiorgio to choke her during sex. No thanks!!!
Pennsylvania is set to be an important state in 2020, as DiGiorgio referenced in a recent newsletter to the party.
“We know the road to 2020 runs through Pennsylvania and the PA GOP remains firmly committed to keeping Pennsylvania red for President Trump and Vice President Pence,” he wrote earlier in June.