Virtual Conversation | Recapping the 2021 Session: Legislative Republicans, May 18, 2021 Register

Job posting for congressional campaign says female staffers must “demonstrate their commitment” before getting hired

Former Nascar driver Jerrod Sessler is one week into his campaign to unseat Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA – 4), but he is already apologizing. Sessler has drawn some blowback on social media after his campaign published a job posting on Craigslist which said female applicants needed to take extra steps in order to be hired.

The now deleted ad reads:

Sadly, due to our current woke-sheep culture, female candidates, although welcome, will need to demonstrate their commitment to the mission in writing and with references to protect the candidate from future false claims that could damage his reputation.”

In subsequent posts on Facebook, Sessler said the ad “was written with the assumption that someone could falsely accuse me of something” and was driven by “the idea of being falsely slandered.”

While Sessler, a Republican, did not appear to be responding to any specific accusation, the ad was live at the same time he was sending words of encouragement to Matt Gaetz, the embattled Florida Congressman who is being investigated by the Justice Department over allegations involving sex trafficking, prostitution, and whether he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl.

In a statement to the Wire, Sessler said the ad was “misunderstood.”

It was clumsily and stupidly written and I can easily understand why it was found offensive. It has been deleted and I apologized for it.”

Sessler did not respond to the question of how a female candidate would demonstrate, through writing and references, her “commitment to the mission.” He also did not say what specific assurance he was looking for to ensure his protection from “future false claims that could damage his reputation” or why prospective male candidates were not asked to provide these same assurances.

Under Washington State law, an employer may not circulate any advertisement for employment, or make any inquiry in connection with prospective employment, which expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to sex.

The Sessler campaign says it is still hiring. “Giving yourself to a political campaign,” the campaign website reads, “is one of the most rewarding forms of service right up there with the military and first responders.”  

Sessler says his political vision is shaped by “traditional American values, founded in Judeo-Christian beliefs.” He criticizes Democrats for focusing “on ridiculous issues like whether biological men should participate in women’s sports, yet still pretending to be the party of female empowerment.”

Sessler, 51, was motivated to run against Newhouse after the four-term Congressman voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the January 6th riot at the US capitol. State Rep. Brad Klippert (R – Kennewick) has also entered the race, while former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is still mulling a run.

Sessler is married with three children. After his Nascar career, he founded HomeTask, which provides maintenance, repairs and improvements for homeowners and property managers.

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