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Minnesota politician drops out of election after saying that ‘ISIS isn’t necessarily evil’ and is ‘doing what they think is best for their community’

  • Dan Kimmel, 63, was running for House of Representatives in Minnesota
  • Saturday evening he tweeted that ISIS ‘is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community,’ but later deleted the message
  • Kimmel said he ‘deplored’ ISIS’s attacks on Paris but later exited race 
  • He said remarks were in response to something said in Democratic debate


A candidate for the Minnesota legislature campaign ended less than 24 hours after a tweet expressing an unpopular opinion about terrorist organization Islamic State.

‘ISIS isn’t necessarily evil,’ Dan Kimmel of Burnsville posted Saturday evening, when the world was still coming to grips with the Paris terrorist attacks that killed at least 129 people.

‘It is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community. Violence is not the answer, though,’ he added.

After a furious backlash against his ‘tone-deaf’ comments, Kimmel said he ‘deplored’ ISIS’s evil acts but later gave up on his campaign because of the outrage.

‘What are you talking about,’ one Twitter user said in response, while others said the 63-year-old had demonstrated how to end one’s political career with tweets.

 In his followup tweet, the software developer said that he did not defend the acts of Islamic State, who have claimed responsibility for a series of shootings and suicide bombings in the French capital that injured hundreds.

A letter announcing the end of his campaign said that the original comments were in response to something said in the Democratic debate on Saturday night.

The statement said that Kimmel condemns the ‘cowardly and despicable’ Paris attacks along with all other violence.

He apologized for any consequence the attention around his since-deleted tweet could bring to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, to which he belongs.

‘I will do everything I can to help resolve the issue: most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry,’ he said.

The party had asked Kimmel to quit the House of Representatives race after the uproar, according to the Star Tribune.

Kimmel had previously lost to his Republican opponent in the Burnsville race, 22-year-old Drew  Christensen, in 2014.


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