NJ politician who posted Confederate flag picture re-elected

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SUSSEX -

A Sussex County lawmaker who was heavily criticized for sharing a picture of himself standing by a Confederate flag at a Hank Williams Jr. concert has won re-election.

Republican Assemblyman Parker Space and Hal Wirths won two Assembly seats in the state's 24th District. Space and Wirths defeated Democrats Kate Matteson and Gina Trish along with two Green Party candidates.

Click here for all New Jersey election results

Space came under heavy criticism when he and his wife posed in front of a Confederate flag at the concert in August. The flag also had Williams’ face on it. Space captioned the Facebook post, "Tailgating waiting for Hank. Hope no one is offended! LOL."

Matteson and Trish called Space's behavior "disrespectful to the thousands of constituents he represents." Then-candidate Phil Murphy denounced the flag as a symbol of hatred.

Space defended the photo at the time and told News 12 New Jersey that "there was never a Confederate soldier that went into battle with a picture of Hank Williams on their flag."

The Republican, who owns Space Farms Zoo and Museum, said that his voting record, which includes "condemning bigotry and hatred" and "encouraging residents of New Jersey to treat one another civilly," shows he is not a racist.

Space will begin his third term in January.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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