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Republican Congressman Accuses His Opponent Of Fat Shaming Him

"To see my opponent use this politically, it's just offensive, and it's offensive to millions of Americans who deal with this situation and I empathize with them."

Posted on August 19, 2014, at 9:01 p.m. ET

Rep. Tom Reed is a Republican congressman who represents New York's 23rd district. He was first elected in 2010.

The district is upstate, near the border with Canada:

Tom Reed used to be very overweight. Then in the early summer of 2013, he had gastric bypass surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. He is now quite thin.

Here's a recent photo of thin Reed.

Reed's opponent for re-election is a woman named Martha Robertson. She's a former teacher and state legislator.

And all of her ads seem to use photos of Reed when he was heavy.

Martha Robertson For Congress
Martha Robertson For Congress
Martha Robertson For Congress

Reed's upset his opponent is seemingly using only overweight photos of him, calling it offensive.

"To see my opponent use this politically, it's just offensive, and it's offensive to millions of Americans who deal with this situation and I empathize with them," Reed said in a recent interview with NewsMaxTV.

Reed said he made the decision to have gastric bypass because he was concerned about dying and not being there for his kids.

"I've lost now 110 pounds and I'm very proud of it," Reed said. "And I've got a 14 year old and 16 year old at home and I'll to tell you when the doctor look at me and he was like, 'Tom you're either going to go at age 62 or 82.' I said, 'ya know, for 20 more years I get to enjoy my life with with my family, my kids and be there for them' ... that's what drove me to make that decision and I'm so please that I did."

Here's Reed's full interview with NewsMaxTV where he slams Robertson at length for using photos of him overweight in ads.

View this video on YouTube

A spokesman for the Robertson campaign said in a statement to BuzzFeed that Reed was "trying to distract voters from his record."

"Congressman Tom Reed is trying to distract voters from his record, but that's what we're focusing on - his record of looking out for special interests, not working families. The real issues are clear: that he has voted to raise middle class taxes by $2,000 so he can cut the taxes of the wealthiest, that he has voted to raise the Social Security retirement age and end the Medicare guarantee, and that he supports policies that let corporations ship jobs overseas."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.