- The Washington Times - Friday, April 14, 2017

A Democratic legislator apologized on the Arizona House floor Thursday for writing on Facebook that he wanted to physically attack a female Republican colleague.

State Rep. Jesus Rubalcava made the comment on Facebook April 6 in response to the passage of legislation expanding the state’s private school voucher program, which was sponsored by Republican State Sen. Debbie Lesko.

One commenter wrote that Ms. Lesko’s victory lap around the state Capitol after the bill’s passage was “slightly enraging,” according to a screenshot posted by The Arizona Republic.

“I wanted to punch her in the throat,” Mr. Rubalcava responded in a now-deleted comment.

Ms. Lesko told The Republic that she found the Democrat’s response “disturbing.”

“As a survivor of domestic violence from a previous marriage, Representative Rubalcava’s Facebook post saying ‘I wanted to punch her in the throat’ was very disturbing and totally inappropriate especially since he is an elementary school teacher and legislator,” she said in a statement. “I hope in the future that he debates issues based on their merit in a civil manner.”

Mr. Rubalcava apologized Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives, saying he was raised by a single mother who didn’t tolerate violence, The Republic reported.

“And so, my comment, was definitely unprofessional, and it was unacceptable,” he said. “And I want this body to know that I have apologized to Sen. Debbie Lesko for my comment, and I sincerely apologize, I want this body to know.”

He later apologized in person to Ms. Lesko, who said she accepted the gesture.

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