A New Hampshire state senator, apparently unaware that he was not on mute during a remote hearing over Zoom, was heard referring to a female colleague as a “bitch” on Wednesday.
State Sen. John Reagan (R) was participating in a meeting of the Executive Departments and Administration Committee when the chairwoman, GOP state Sen. Sharon Carson, stepped away for a moment.
As vice chair, Reagan was about to take over the meeting when Carson returned in frame to apologize for her brief absence, according to video posted by WMUR political director Adam Sexton on Twitter.
“I’m sorry, my daughter is currently hospitalized and her doctor is on the phone. I’m going to put the committee in recess for 10 minutes,” she said. “Thank you.”
“So nobody else can do anything,” Reagan said. He is heard muttering to himself for another moment before using the vulgar term.
At the end of the meeting, Reagan reportedly said, “Apologies for my recorded outburst previously.”
Update: at the end of the hearing Sen. Reagan apologized for what he referred to as his “recorded outburst”— Adam Sexton (@AdamSextonWMUR) February 10, 2021
Carson thanked him for his response. She declined to comment further on the interaction to The Associated Press.
Reagan, however, told the outlet that the incident was “an open mic Zoom goof.”
Senate President Chuck Morse (R) said that the comment was “inappropriate and disappointing.”
In a statement, state Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy (D) denounced Reagan’s comment as “cruel and entirely unacceptable.”
“Such abusive language has no place in the legislature,” Soucy said. “The New Hampshire Senate is an august body, and all members should be held to the highest standards of respect and decorum. We extend our best wishes to Senator Caron for a swift recovery for her family member."
" @TheNHSenate is an august body, and all members should be held to the highest standards of respect and decorum. We extend our best wishes to Senator Carson for a swift recovery for her family member.” @DonnaSoucy @PrentissSuzanne #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/bkiIKsrTps— NH Senate Democrats (@NHSenateDems) February 10, 2021