A Republican candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State has apologized for posting a Twitter message about shooting Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth.

As first reported by the Courier-Journal, Carl Nett was responding to a tweet by Yarmuth that included a photo of the congressman wearing an “F” button on his lapel, indicating his pride for the grade he was given by the National Rifle Association.


Nett, a former Secret Service agent, has since deleted the tweet. He tweeted an apology to Yarmuth and his family.


Nett said his attempt to be clever was “far from clever.” Yarmuth’s office said the congressman accepts Nett’s apology.

Nett’s earlier tweet was denounced by both Republicans and Democrats.

In a statement, Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Ben Self called Nett’s comment “not only alarming but terribly offensive.”

“Nett, a current Republican candidate for secretary of state and campaign contributor to Gov. Matt Bevin, is obviously unfit to be elected for or hold any Kentucky office. Any threats of violence cannot be tolerated in our current political or public forums.”

This story has been updated. 

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."