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‘Disgusting’: North Texas lawmaker blasts fired aide’s vulgar message on social media

On Thursday, Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three people and killed two during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shared a photo of himself going shooting with Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.

A former legislative director for Texas Rep. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington has come under fire for a vulgar message he sent to a woman on social media, a day after he posed for a photo at a fundraiser with Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn and other conservative figures.

Tinderholt called the comment by Jake Neidert “disgusting,” adding that it would have been a fireable offense if Neidert hadn’t already been terminated from his office this summer.

Neidert’s private message on X, formerly Twitter, made a vulgar suggestion to the woman of inseminating her, using a pun that referenced the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 26 people. The woman posted a screenshot of the message and wrote that Neidert “is an active employee of the Texas legislature.”

In response, Tinderholt said Neidert had been fired over the summer.

Tinderholt added: “This is a disgusting comment. Had he made it while employed by my office, his employment would have been immediately terminated for it.”

Neidert’s offensive message came to light a day after he posed in a photo at a clay pigeon shoot with a group that included Waybourn and Kyle Rittenhouse, the young conservative activist who was acquitted of shootings in Wisconsin during the civil unrest of summer 2020.

Rittenhouse had shared the photo Wednesday on his X account with a brief message saying it was a “great day to shoot clays” with the group. He has since deleted it.

Waybourn’s office said Friday that more than 100 people participated in the widely advertised clay shoot fundraiser.

“That being said, I don’t have personal knowledge of the social media practices of attendees, but it’s sad to learn such a message was sent to any woman. The comment is horribly insensitive and should be offensive to anyone,” Waybourn said in a statement to the Star-Telegram.

Neidert’s twin sister Kelly is the founder of Protect Texas Kids, which has been behind drag show protests across the state, including Fort Worth. Protect Texas Kids has protested alongside white supremacist groups, including Patriot Front, Aryan Freedom Network and the New Columbia Movement, as well as This is Texas Freedom Force, which the FBI has designated as an extremist militia.

Rittenhouse has become a popular figure among some conservatives after his acquittal on the charges of shooting three men — two fatally — during protests sparked by the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, said he acted in self-defense.

The photo that Rittenhouse posted from the clay pigeon shoot also tagged Cary Cheshire, executive director of Texans for Strong Borders, and Chad Shoemake, former political director of the Texas Republican Party.