Apparently, if you happen to be an attractive woman and want to serve in elected office, you should expect to be attacked by a bunch of grumpy old men. Those gosh darned Republicans just can’t seem to help themselves, can they? Particularly in New Hampshire, where it happened to Marilinda Garcia. Wait… you mean it was the Democrats?

New Hampshire Democrats were quick to attack Republican State Representative Marilinda Garcia once she made her intention to seek the her party’s nomination for the second congressional district seat official. Garcia announced her candidacy via a press release on Monday morning; she joins former Republican State Senator Gary Lambert in the race to take on Democratic Congresswoman Anne Kuster.

Within moments of her announcement, prominent Democratic State Rep. Peter Sullivan attacked Garcia on Twitter using sexist language and imagery. Sullivan compared the three-term State Representative, who holds a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, to reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian. He went on to refer to her as “[Republican State Rep.] Al Baldasarro [sic] in stiletto heels” and “a lightweight.”

At least Sullivan was politically savvy enough to realize he’d stepped in it and issue an “apology.”

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In case you missed it on the front page, this is the state legislator who seems to have New Hampshire Democrats quaking in their collective boots.

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Wow… she’s pretty frightening, isn’t she? If Representative Garcia prevails in her primary race and takes on the Democratic incumbent I’m afraid she’d better be prepared for more of the same. And it seems clear that at least some members of the Democrat party in New Hampshire have zero intention of backing off from this line of attack. That’s really a shame, being symbolic of what’s stunting the growth of political participation in the United States. We need a younger, more diverse pool of people who are willing to step up and get involved, but if this is the sort of welcome that women can expect, a lot of them are likely to stay in the private sector.

While Peter Sullivan seems to have a problem with Ms. Garcia being beautiful, he’s actually showing what’s really ugly about politics.