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N.H. House Speaker Uses Vulgarity To Refer To Female Lawmaker During House Session

N.H. General Court

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard has apologized for using a vulgarity to refer to a female lawmaker while presiding over the House session Friday in Bedford.

Packard muttered the comment to the House clerk while standing at a live microphone. The moment came after House Clerk Paul Smith instructed Derry Republican Rep. Anne Copp to put on a mask if she was walking around the sports complex where the House met this week to keep social distance.

After Smith noted to Packard that Copp was walking around the complex, Packard was heard saying, “I know; she’s just a bitch.”

The House clerk then pulled Packard close and away from the live mic.  

In a statement emailed by his office Friday evening, Packard apologized and called his comment "highly inappropriate."

“I let the stress and anxiety of this event get the best of me, and I said something I would not want any member of this House to say about a fellow member, or any person,” Packard’s statement read.

This is not the first time this session that a male lawmaker has used the same vulgarity to refer to a female lawmaker. In February, Sen. John Reagan used the same term to disparage Sen. Sharon Carson during a Zoom meeting of the Senate Executive Administration Committee. Reagan later apologized and called his remark an "open mic zoom goof."

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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