Joshua Lapidus, Arora’s legislative director, quit Friday night just after the marriage vote in a scathing resignation letter obtained by the Washington Blade.
“I respect you and your beliefs, however I cannot respect your decision to place personal religious belief over the roles and responsibilities of the stewardship the people of District 19 entrusted unto you,” Lapidus wrote. He added, “It saddens me that you are standing against the tide of history and ending your career over an issue that will no doubt be decided in the affirmative, with or without your vote, over the next couple years. So, I write this letter to inform you that if you vote don’t vote for HB 438 l can no longer work under your employ.”
Arora campaigned in 2010 in support of the bill and sponsored the measure last year, before suddenly changing his position and opposing it by the end of the 2011 legislative session. He voted against it Friday.
Arora continues to decline interview requests, but he issued a brief statement to the Blade in response to Lapidus’s resignation.
“I don’t comment on personnel issues,” Arora wrote. “That said: Josh continues to be a friend, and I wish him well.”
Another one-time friend of Arora’s, columnist and Democratic strategist Karl Frisch, praised Lapidus for stepping down.
“I think it’s gutsy,” Frisch said. “It’s the right move and shows that we had allies working on our behalf in his office.”