(USA TODAY) -- The aide to Sen. Rand Paul with a pro-Confederate past has resigned from the Kentucky Republican's office.
Hunter, Paul's director of new media, left his post following the
controversy over his past writings and comments as the "Southern
Avenger," the name he adopted as a radio talk-show personality. His
departure was confirmed Monday by Moira Bagley, a spokeswoman for Paul.
"I've long been a conservative, and years go, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one," Hunter, 39, said in an e-mail to The Daily Caller.
"But there's a significant difference between being politically
incorrect and racist. I've also become far more libertarian over the
years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant world view, through
the lens of which I know look back on some of my older comments with
Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told a VFW audience in Louisville that Hunter had become a "distraction," according to the Courier-Journal.
Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, had reported earlier
this month that Hunter's past included support for Abraham Lincoln's
assassination. He also once wore a Confederate flag mask during his
public appearances and expressed pro-secessionist views.
Paul stood by Hunter, saying that he had not seen any racist or discriminatory behavior from Hunter, who helped the senator write his book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington. "If I thought he was a white supremacist, he'd be fired immediately," Paul said two weeks ago in a Huffington Post interview.