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Originally published Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 5:42 PM

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McKenna aide resigns after uproar over mocking tweets

A policy assistant for Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign has resigned after news broke about tweets she posted months ago that appeared to mock Asians and the elderly.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A policy assistant for Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign has resigned after coming under fire earlier this week for some old tweets that appeared to mock Asians and the elderly.

Kathlyn Ehl posted the tweets on her Twitter account before she started volunteering for the campaign in April. She became a paid staffer last month after graduating from the University of Washington.

One of the tweets, sent in January, read, "shut up and speak english #asians." The other, from November, said, "If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk."

Ehl apologized for the tweets after The Stranger newspaper published them Monday. McKenna, a Republican and the attorney general, called them "insensitive and wrong."

But that was not enough for some, who called for McKenna to fire Ehl. Members of an Asian and Pacific Islander organization said they were planning to protest outside campaign headquarters Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement released Wednesday, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple expressed regret at how the incident ended.

"As the father of two young women, it pains me to accept the resignation of a young woman for a mistake which occurred before she had even begun her career," he said.

"However, as we have said, and Kathlyn readily acknowledges, her tweets were offensive and insensitive. Kathlyn suggested, and I agreed after consultation with some of our campaign's grass-roots leaders, that her ongoing involvement on the campaign would be a constant reminder of her lapse in judgment."

Brian M. Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or brosenthal@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @brianmrosenthal.

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