CONCORD, N.H.—Leaders from both political parties called on a Democratic candidate for New Hampshire's House to apologize Wednesday for posting a death wish for Sarah Palin on Facebook.
Republican state Rep. D.J. Bettencourt said Democrat Keith Halloran of Rindge was responding to Bettencourt's post Tuesday about the plane crash that killed former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Bettencourt said Halloran wrote: "Just wish Sarah and Levy were on board," an apparent reference to the former Alaska governor and her daughter's ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston.
Halloran wouldn't confirm he wrote the message. In a message sent to The Associated Press through Facebook he said, "It's just a tempest in their Tea Pot."
The comment had been removed from Bettencourt's post by Wednesday afternoon, but Bettencourt confirmed it, and other comments denouncing the remark remained. Bettencourt's original post expressed sadness that some of the commentary about Stevens' death focused on negative aspects of his career.
"I was just lamenting the fact that people just couldn't seem to find something nice to say about him or not say anything at all," Bettencourt said. "Shortly thereafter, after some initial positive comments were made in reaction to my post, appears a post from Keith Halloran ... I was just absolutely shocked and disgusted by that post."
Ryan Williams, spokesman for the state Republican Party, called Halloran's remarks "a new low."
"His publicly stated death wish for Governor Palin and her family is abhorrent, and has no place in our public discourse," he said.
Mike Brunnelle, director of the state Democratic Party, said Democrats do not condone such rhetoric.
"We certainly condemn it and find it inappropriate, and Keith should apologize immediately," he said.
A spokeswoman for Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, said the governor's thoughts are with the families of those killed in the crash.
"He finds the comments appalling and believes they have no place in the public discourse," Pamela Walsh said.
Halloran is one of nearly 800 candidates running for New Hampshire's 400-member House.
Last month, the Republican Party called GOP state House candidate Ryan J. Murdough of Ashland "a despicable racist" and barred him from using any party resources after he published a letter in the Concord Monitor calling on white people to take a stand against diversity and asserting that New Hampshire residents "must seek to preserve their racial identity."
Murdough is running as a Republican but has been endorsed by the American Third Position party, which says it promotes the political interests of white people.
Associated Press Writer Norma Love contributed to this report.