- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women resigned Tuesday night, calling the decision “incredibly painful” but necessary due to her inability to support Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

“Since I cannot support Donald J. Trump for President, nor can I advocate for his election, I feel that I cannot adequately fulfill the duties of my position,” Melissa Gesing wrote in a resignation letter to her organization’s executive committee and board of directors.

“I am still a Republican and plan to work hard for our down ballot GOP candidates,” she wrote. “I cannot in good conscience lead this organization or look at myself in the mirror each morning if I do not take a stand against the racism, sexism, and hate that Donald J. Trump continues to promote.”

Ms. Gesing tweeted a screenshot of her resignation letter and elaborated in a “somewhat lengthy” blog post the reasoning behind her decision. She wrote that after a long period of her defending the Republican nominee, the 2005 leaked recording of Mr. Trump engaged in a lewd, private conversation with Billy Bush was “the final straw.”

In the recording, published Friday by The Washington Post, Mr. Trump unwittingly spoke on a hot mic to Mr. Bush, then-host of “Access Hollywood,” about using his fame to get away with groping women.

“I could not even process all of that for a good 24 hours,” Ms. Gesing wrote. “I was immediately angry. I was angry at Trump, but I was even more angry with myself. It should have been no surprise, given everything else we have been shown about Donald Trump. Nonetheless, it shocked me. I was sick to my stomach and could not see straight. … This was the final straw. I had finally taken all I could.

“I should have spoken up long ago. I do not like attention. I did not want to rock the boat. I wanted to honor my commitment in my role for Republican women,” she continued. “I’m not trying to excuse the multiple chances that I gave to Donald Trump. I am telling you what was going on in my head, right or wrong. I honestly thought at some point we would turn a corner, things would get better, apologies would be made, and it would all be OK. I was wrong, and it really pains me to have to say these things less than 30 days out from the election.

“This is not about being conservative, moderate, liberal, establishment, or anti-establishment. This is about common decency as Americans,” Ms. Gesing wrote. “Decency transcends party loyalty. I still believe in an America where we can elect decent and honorable people to lead us.”

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