Christopher Peters, the Republican seeking Iowa’s 2nd District congressional seat, says he won’t vote for Donald Trump for president, citing Trump’s remarks about women and minorities.
Peters previously declined to say whom he would support in the presidential election. But in a blog post on his campaign website, the Iowa City surgeon said he decided to speak out after the release last week of audiotapes from 2005 that have Trump boasting how his celebrity allowed him to kiss and grope women at will.
“Donald Trump’s remarks about women that surfaced last week — along with his well-documented pattern of disparaging remarks about women, minorities and other groups — demonstrate disturbing character deficiencies,” Peters said. “My wife and I have three teenage sons, and if I ever learned that any of them grew up to be men who conduct themselves like Trump, I would be deeply disappointed.”
Peters said that he could not vote for Hillary Clinton, either, calling her a “similarly flawed candidate” who is insincere, manipulative and untrustworthy.
Since the Trump tape was revealed this past Friday, there have been a slew of Republican candidates and political figures who have withdrawn their support for the party’s nominee or who have denounced his comments.
Peters has described himself as an independent-minded Republican, and he has differed from the mainstream of his party on other issues.
In the blog post, he also criticized Trump for his grasp of the Constitution, civil rights and economics.
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“I should have spoken out against him much earlier, and regret that I failed to do so,” he added.
Peters, who previously ran for a state legislative seat as a Libertarian, said the choices for president this year demonstrate the need to reform a “deeply flawed” system. Peters said he would seek to make it easier for third-party candidates to get on ballots and in debates.
He also proposes to lessen the influence of money in elections by making changes to the tax code, among other things.
Peters is running against U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa.