HUNTINGTON, WV ( WOWK) — Cabell County Delegate John Mandt has resigned from the House of Delegates effective 11:59 p.m. Saturday, and will also end his campaign for re-election to the House for the upcoming term.
This comes after inflammatory and homophobic Facebook messages began circulating on social media earlier this week. Mandt denies the messages, saying they were fabricated.
According to a release, Delegate Mandt contacted Speaker Hanshaw Saturday afternoon to discuss the events of the past year and week, as well as his upcoming plans for his family and businesses. He said he believed at this time the best course of action for his family and business was for him to step away from public office.
“I have enjoyed my time in public service and thank the people of the 16th District for the opportunity to represent them in the House,” Delegate Mandt said. “Right now, my focus and priority needs to be on my family and business, and feel it is best at this time to terminate my campaign and make room for other individuals to serve the state.”
Mandt said he would deliver copies of his letter of resignation to Speaker Hanshaw and Gov. Jim Justice over the weekend. It will be effective at the end of the day Saturday.
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, issued the following statement in response to reports of those messages.
“I have seen some of the statements that have been posted to social media and have spoken with Delegate Mandt about them,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “While Delegate Mandt denies having made them, I want to be very clear: I strongly condemn these comments and this type of rhetoric. I don’t care who said it – it’s wrong and I want everyone to know there is no place for hatred or bigotry in our state, our political discourse or the West Virginia House of Delegates.”
Last year, Mandt came under fire after a Facebook post made after a Vigil in Huntington. In April Marshall University and the Sodexo received a petition with more than 700 signatures, asking the two entities to cut ties with Stewarts over remarks Mandt Jr made on Social media.