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: Match.com founder Kremen abruptly drops out of county assessor’s race

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Gary Kremen’s quixotic bid for Santa Clara County, Calf., assessor has ended as quickly as it began.

The founder of Match.com
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and former owner of Sex.com withdrew from the race late Saturday after San Jose Spotlight reported a former campaign staffer accused Kremen of workplace misconduct and sharing unsolicited nude photos in a campaign Dropbox
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+3.70%

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“It’s all BS,” Kremen told MarketWatch in a text late Saturday before he issued a lengthy statement on Sunday explaining his withdrawal from a bid to oust longtime County Assessor Larry Stone.

Previously: Match.com founder Gary Kremen has pivoted to local politics, and lit a fire in Silicon Valley assessor’s race

In his statement Sunday, Kremen said an unnamed former staffer was asked to choose some “nice photos of my family” from Kremen’s iPhone photo library of 20,000 photos and 2,000 videos on a shared Dropbox folder.

“While I inadvertently left the four photos in my photo album, they are part of the natural process of motherhood and being a family that supports public or private breastfeeding,” Kremen said in the statement. “A woman shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed, humiliated, or in any way wrong for feeding their children.”

Consequently, following a heated argument over Israel and Palestine with the staffer in which Kremen acknowledged his “tone was inexcusable” and he later apologized for, the nude photos were made public, according to Kremen.

“To secretly keep copies of all my photos and share them with others is a betrayal of trust, and possibly a violation of the law,” Kremen wrote.

“I deny all the other unsubstantiated allegations including sexualized conversations and sexual touching made by them,” Kremen said. “These are lies meant to get back at me for severing our working relationship, damage my family, and hurt my campaign for assessor, which has now ended.”

Stone, who had not faced opposition in a political race since 2006, said Kremen’s withdrawal was not shocking, given his often-controversial career that included a decade-long battle with a nefarious businessman over the Sex.com domain name.

“I was not surprised,” Stone told MarketWatch. “This type of behavior is totally unacceptable.”

Kremen said he will remain on the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

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