Bobby Valentine calls mayoral opponent a ’35-year-old girl’

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Bobby Valentine calls mayoral opponent a '35-year-old girl'

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine is taking heat for calling the Connecticut state legislator running against him to become mayor of Stamford a “35-year-old girl.”

Valentine, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate in the Nov. 2 general election in his hometown, made the remark about State Rep. Caroline Simmons in an Associated Press story published Tuesday on generational divide in the hotly contested race.

“There’s no chance of a 35-year-old girl who grew up in a private setting, going to a private school in Greenwich, Connecticut, could possibly relate to the diverse culture of Stamford, Connecticut, better than I do, no matter what the age is,” Valentine said. “It’s an absolute impossibility in my mind.”

Simmons, a Harvard-educated legislator who upset the city’s two-term mayor in the Democratic primary in September, shot back in a fundraising email to supporters hours after the story was published – accusing Valentine of being prejudiced against women, the Hartford Courant reported.

“Just this afternoon, Bobby Valentine said there’s no chance ‘a 35-year-old girl’ could possibly relate to the people of Stamford better than he does,” Simmons wrote. “His misogynistic comments are offensive to all women and girls in our city and we cannot stand for his demeaning remarks — whether it is to people who were not born here, people who can’t afford to own here, or women pursuing their dreams here.’’

Bobby Valentine.
Bobby Valentine is running as an unaffiliated candidate.
Mary Altaffer/AP

Simmons told her backers they shouldn’t be shocked by Valentine’s take on her age.

“He’s been showing us who he is — over and over — throughout this campaign,” Simmons email continued. “He told a private gathering ‘if you’re not owning, you’re not caring’ and said that people who rent their home in Stamford are ‘not leaving the community better than when they got here.’”

Half of Stamford’s residents rent their home, Simmons said.

State. Rep. Caroline Simmons, left, D-Stamford, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
Connecticut State Rep. Caroline Simmons fired back at Bobby Valentine, accusing him of being prejudiced against women.
Mary Altaffer/AP

The race between Valentine and Simmons has garnered national attention, the Associated Press reported, with former President George W. Bush contributing $500 to the former Texas Rangers manager who was fired in 1992 when Bush was a managing partner of the team.

Simmons, meanwhile, has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama and has gotten campaign contributions from the likes of big-screen stars like Michael Douglas and Bette Midler.

Valentine has outpaced Simmons in campaign fundraising, while each has received endorsements from organized labor unions in Stamford, where Democrats easily outnumber Republicans. The GOP candidate, a former city police officer, withdrew from the race last month and is supporting Valentine.

Simmons, who moved to Stamford in 2013, has promoted herself as someone who understands voter issues better than Valentine and has the necessary background as co-chair of the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee to be “ready on day one” if elected.

“They have appreciated our message of wanting to make our city work better for people,” Simmons told the Associated Press of Stamford voters. “And I think people recognize that he may be a great baseball player and have that celebrity status, but they don’t necessarily want him as mayor or don’t think that translates into being a good mayor.”

With Post wires

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