PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A Democratic candidate for South Dakota’s congressional seat is under scrutiny for tweets he made from his personal account before he considered running for public office. Ryan Ryder is an Air Force veteran and lawyer from Black Hawk. He’s running for the seat held by Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson. One of Ryder’s tweets suggested that he should make an animated video of Johnson’s family getting killed. Ryder told The Associated Press the tweet was in response to Johnson’s vote against censuring Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar for a violent cartoon video that depicted killing a character that resembled New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ryder said the tweets were unprofessional, but he hopes they open the door to transparency.
Ryan Ryder released the following statement:
I am withdrawing my candidacy for US House of Representatives.
While tweets I have made in the past were a poor attempt at sarcastic humor, I recognize that they appear to cross a line. I regret that I chose to express myself that way. I apologize specifically to the state party and anyone else for whom these tweets reflected badly.