The Ohio Republican Party’s chair has asked a Southwest Ohio legislative candidate to end his campaign after he admitted to signing up seven years ago for Ashley Madison, a dating site catering to people looking to cheat on their spouses.
GOP candidate Joe Dills, who touts his family values credentials in campaign materials, admitted in a Facebook post on Friday that while it was “wrong” for him to join the site, he joined it while he was single and never used it beyond creating a profile for himself.
Dills claims that he signed up for Ashley Madison in 2013 after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force and his marriage with his first wife had ended.
“I never used the site to actively meet with anyone and never was involved in any illicit behavior beyond creating the profile on that site,” he wrote.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Ashley Madison website was hacked in 2015, resulting in account details for about 32 million users being made public via easily searchable websites.
The Ashley Madison revelation came after Dills was endorsed by Ohio Value Voters, which promotes “faith, life, marriage, family and religious freedom,” but the candidate removed a post on the endorsement from his Facebook page.
“As Vice President Mike Pence has said,” Dills wrote last month in an Enquirer op-ed, “‘I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order.’ My faith tells me our rights come from God and that those rights belong to everyone, including the unborn. I am a conservative because I believe the success of the American people lies within each one of us, not within the government. As a Republican, I am committed to the ideals of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.”
“Mr. Dills crossed a line by joining this lewd and inappropriate website,” said state GOP chair Jane Timken. “I call for his immediate withdrawal from the race. There is no place in our party for people that exercise such a gross lack of judgment.”
But Dills’ wife, Nivea, in her own statement, said she wants her husband’s campaign to continue.
Nivea claims she knew about Joe’s activity on Ashley Madison for years, before they were married, and have “dealt with” and “healed from” it together.
“People may say ‘just drop out’ so we do not have to face this in the public eye, but as Joe’s wife, the one most affected by Joe’s past, I say no way!!” Nivea wrote.