Broun apologizes to Whitehead for email

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July 16, 2007, News 12 at Six o'clock

Republicans Paul Broun and Jim Whitehead face off Tuesday for the 10th congressional district seat in Congress. But Monday Broun publicly apologized to Whitehead for an email he says went too far.

News 12 spoke to Jim Whitehead Monday about the email. He says, "I hate that it has come to that. I think there's a lot of frustration in that and i guess it is a last ditch effort."

During a speech in front of the Augusta Kiwanis Club, Broun said he was sorry for the email sent by his wife Niki.

"I think that's totally inappropriate and i want to begin by saying I'll publicly apologize to him, his family, and the community that he represents, that's not what im all about," Broun says.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Niki Broun's email as follows:

It is not my place to judge Jim Whitehead's spiritual condition but I'll just tell you that a pastor in Hartwell invited Paul and Mr. Whitehead to speak at his church.

Paul accepted gladly, as he has in many churches. Mr. Whitehead said he felt uncomfortable speaking in churches and didn't think you should mix church and state.

The AJC reports receiving the following email from Paul Broun:

The facts are these:

1. The Paul Broun Committee absolutely did not send that e-mail.

2. Independent of the campaign, in a loving attempt to help me, my wife e-mailed a few of her friends. She was basically asking them to pray for us and to do what they could to get their friends to turn out and vote. This is a wise thing in a mid-summer special run-off election projected to have low voter participation. Niki never meant for her email to be for widespread distribution.

3. I am glad that Niki, my wife of almost 23 years, loves me and was trying to help. The portion of the e-mail that shares our testimonies [and which you did not include] is accurate.

4. However, in her zeal to be helpful, and feeling the pressures that come with a political campaign (which may be tougher on the spouse than the candidate), she went beyond what she should have. Appearing to question Mr. Whitehead's spirituality was inappropriate. She and I have discussed this matter. We feel an apology to Jim and Peggy is in order. And I do apologize to them.

I make no apology for being a Christian or for representing the Christian perspective on issues when such issues arise. However, I have a genuine commitment to fairly represent every citizen and every community of the 10th District. That commitment, indeed, that responsibility, goes beyond political party, ethnicity, socio-economic status or place of residence.

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