Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Joanna Kelley issued an apology Friday for a tweet on her personal account she called "careless."

The tweet was raised during the public comments section of Monday's meeting by resident Mark Brighton, who said it rendered him "speechless."

"Is there anything more annoying than a group of mediocre white men who are slightly above average in appearance," the tweet read, according to Brightman. He went on to say that "It's not funny. It's not a joke, and there is absolutely no context that would make it acceptable. But it is baldly racist and sexist."

Brighton described himself as once being a supporter of Kelley, and called on her to apologize for her tweet.

As is the protocol during public comment, the council did not address his remarks.

"I take my position as assistant Mayor incredibly seriously, and I would like to apologize for a careless tweet I put out last week from my private personal account. As I continue to learn the ropes of serving as a public official and balancing my personal life at the same time, I will work diligently to always grow and serve the people of our city as best as I can," Kelly said.

"I look forward to continuing the exciting work this City Council and Mayor are advancing to build a brighter, more prosperous, and inclusive Portsmouth."

The statement was issued on her behalf by the city's public information office.

Kelley was elected to the city council in November, and is the council's first Black councilor. She owns the Cup of Joe Coffee Bar in Portsmouth.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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