House leaders call for lawmaker to resign over videos

Western PA News

Shown is the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, May 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican leaders in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives called Thursday for one of their members to resign after a newspaper disclosed the existence of videos posted to a since-deleted social media account in which he encourages his 5-year-old son to draw from a cigar and use profane language.

In a two-sentence statement, House Republican leaders said they are “disgusted” by the conduct of second-term Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-Lawrence.

“In order to take the time necessary to focus on his family and repair his relationships, we call on Rep. Bernstine to immediately resign,” they wrote.

House Democratic leaders urged him to heed the call to resign.

The existence of the videos on a since-deleted Snapchat account was disclosed by the Beaver County Times.

In a brief video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Bernstine apologized, saying the videos were recorded on a vacation with his son, his son’s friends and several of the boys’ parents.

“It was jokes that went way too far,” Bernstine said. “For that, I’m truly sorry, I have to do a much better job as a role model for my child. I’ll continue to work on that and me and my family are addressing it as a private matter.”

He also said he intended to keep running and warned that “party bosses will try to take advantage of the situation.”

Bernstine is on the Nov. 3 ballot for a third two-year term, facing a Democratic challenger and a United Party challenger.

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