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Markey criticized over fund-raiser with Spitzer

Edward Markey

Bloomberg/File

Edward Markey’s spokeswoman, ­Giselle Barry, said the event with Eliot Spitzer would not be canceled.

The state Republican Party called on US Representative Edward J. Markey Tuesday to cancel a fund-raiser next month for his Senate campaign cohosted by former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.

The invitation, obtained by Politico, lists Spitzer and his wife among six couples and one individual cohosting the March 13 event. It is being held in the Washington home of Emily Spitzer, the former governor’s sister, according to Politico, and her husband. Guests are asked to donate $500 to $5,000.

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Markey’s campaign confirmed the invitation, but said the event would go on.

Spitzer, who resigned as governor of New York in disgrace in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, has since hosted television shows on CNN and ­Current TV and reemerged as a potential candidate for office.

Kirsten Hughes, chair­woman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said the Malden Democrat should withdraw from the fund-raiser.

“You are judged by the company you keep, and it’s disgusting for Congressman Markey to rub elbows with a man best known for his solicitation of prostitutes,” she said. “Markey should immediately cancel the fund-raiser and denounce Spitzer’s abhorrent and unacceptable behavior. Anything short of a public condemnation and cancellation would send the wrong message to women.”

Markey’s spokeswoman, ­Giselle Barry, said the event would not be canceled.

She instead challenged ­Republican candidates to sign a pact, known as the People’s Pledge, designed to limit the influ­ence of political action committees. Markey and his primary opponent, Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston, have already signed the agreement, which imposes self-regulated financial penalties on the campaigns if outside groups spend money on their behalf.

“If the Massachusetts GOP really cared about campaign ­finance issues, they would take its potential nominees to task for refusing to sign the people’s pledge,” she wrote. “Instead of feigning outrage over one fundraiser, the Massachusetts ­Republican Party should immediately demand all its declared candidates follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown, Ed Markey, and ­Stephen Lynch by signing.”

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.

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