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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A campaign staffer for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna has apologized for two tweets she sent months ago making fun of Asians and the elderly.

The Seattle weekly newspaper The Stranger reported on Monday that Kathlyn Ehl sent one tweet in November, and another in January, both before she started with the campaign. The November tweet criticized elderly people for taking too long to cross the street. The January one read: shut up and speak english (hash)asians.

McKenna on Monday called the tweets offensive and inappropriate and said that the fact she made the comments before she joined the campaign does not make them any less hurtful to Asian Americans and the elderly.

In an email message to The Seattle Times, Ehl apologized, saying she hurt many with her statements and for causing that pain, I am sorry.

Ehl will remain on the campaign, spokesman Charles McCray said.

Read McKenna's statement below:

The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, which were reported today were offensive and inappropriate. I am glad to see that she has apologized for her actions.

The fact that she made the comments before joining my campaign does not make them any less hurtful to Asian Americans and the elderly. They were insensitive and wrong regardless of their context.

She has done the right thing by apologizing. I am hopeful that she has learned a humbling lesson that will give her greater perspective about having charity in her heart when considering the challenges faced by others.

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