Gemma and Sionni (inset)
Campaign Worker for Rep. Cicilline's Opponent Compares Gay Congressman to Sandusky

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on August 28 2012 6:34 PM ET

An unpaid campaign worker for congressional candidate Anthony Gemma has been asked to step down after making a remark comparing Gemma's opponent, gay representative David Cicilline, to convicted child molester and former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.

The Rhode Island Democratic Party asked Anthony Sionni to apologize to Cicilline. Sionni's comment originated on Twitter, where he replied to state party spokesman Bill Fischer, who said Gemma was smearing fellow Democrat Cicilline. Sionni countered that there was "nothing wrong with smearing a liar, thief, crook, Sandusky copy cat," the Associated Press reports. Sionni's comment was later deleted.

A spokesperson for Gemma's campaign denounced Sionni's statement, and he has been officially removed from the campaign.

Gemma is running against Cicilline in the September primary.