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State Rep. Martin Harty resigned yesterday, facing outrage from constituents, colleagues and strangers over comments he made endorsing eugenics for what he called "defective people."

Harty, a 91-year-old Republican from Barrington and first-term representative, submitted a hand-written letter of resignation to House Speaker William O'Brien.

"I was just getting the hang of it some, but with all the slightly unfavorable publicity I've been getting the last few days I'll never be an effective lawmaker," Harty wrote. "Sorry my big mouth caused this furor."

O'Brien said Harty came to his office to personally offer his resignation. The resignation will become official today, and a special election will be held to fill his seat.

"We both agreed that this is what is best for the House to move forward and focus on critical issues, like balancing our budget without raising taxes and giving the voters an opportunity to pass a school funding amendment to ensure local control," O'Brien said.

Harty made headlines last week after he told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that "the world...