Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) on Friday night called for Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race, breaking her campaign-long silence on the Republican presidential nominee.
Her comments came following the disclosure of a 2005 video of Trump making lewd comments and bragging about groping women.
Comstock, who faces a competitive reelection challenge in her northern Virginia district, said the Republican Party should nominate Trump’s runningmate, Mike Pence, in his place or choose another candidate.
She also said she could not vote for Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In a statement, Comstock said:
“This is disgusting, vile, and disqualifying. No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behavior and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office. In light of these comments, Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him with Mike Pence or another appropriate nominee from the Republican Party. I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump and I would never vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Comstock was late in publicly responding to the latest Trump flap because she was attending her son’s wedding rehearsal dinner.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) also called for Trump to drop out of the race. Until Friday evening Comstock had not endorsed or repudiated Trump and had declined to say for whom she would vote.
Her Democratic challenger, LuAnn Bennett, has tried to link Trump and Comstock on immigration, abortion and pay equity for women.
Bennett called Trump’s comments “vile and disgusting.”
“These latest revelations are shocking, but they are sadly not surprising,” Bennett said in a statement before Comstock called for his resignation as the GOP nominee. “Donald Trump has demeaned women since before he ran for public office, and the Republican Party, with a few exceptions, have stood with him and enabled him every step of the way.”
The 10th District includes all of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick counties as well as Manassas and Manassas Park and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties.
In recent years, the district has seen an influx of professionals — many of them women and minorities — who polls show are cool to Trump’s candidacy. Both parties are pouring millions of advertising dollars into the district, which they consider among the most competitive this year.