The online gossip/tabloid website Gawker is reporting that Matt Doheny, a Republican candidate to take on Democratic Rep. Bill Owens in November, was photographed appearing to kiss a woman who is not his fiancee during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.
The Doheny campaign says it's much ado about nothing in a statement to the media. Here's the statement in full:
"Tonight, Gawker's Maureen O'Connor played right into the hands of Democratic operatives by manufacturing a story about two photographs that only she believes suggests impropriety between Matt Doheny and a female friend.
Two on-record sources told the blogger that nothing inappropriate took place. But that didn't stop her from spreading lies in a desperate attempt to score page views and generate controversy.
“These pictures demonstrate nothing more than two old friends joking around as they sat with other friends,” said Doheny campaign spokesman Jude Seymour. “It's sad that Democratic operatives would lay in wait as a group of friends enjoyed a nice evening, but then the Washington special interests will stop at nothing to keep Bill Owens in Congress.”
Seymour said the photos were taken on the patio at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. when Doheny was in town for meetings and a major party fundraiser. He said that Doheny was out with a bunch of friends when Doheny and a friend embraced and a picture was taken.
Doheny's fiancÚ also weighed in on the alleged encounter.
“Matt and I are looking forward to being married this summer,” said Mary Reidy, who will marry Doheny in June. “This is a very special time in our lives. I am deeply saddened at the state of journalism and politics that a so-called ‘news' source would run a picture so out of context.”