BOSTON (CBS) – A Republican candidate for sheriff in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire has apologized for saying he would use deadly force to stop an abortion.

Frank Szabo of Goffstown made the comment Wednesday in an interview with WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

“If there’s no other choice, that’s what’s needed to protect the citizen,” he said.

Szabo released a statement Thursday morning saying his comment was unacceptable.

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“Clearly, I feel very strongly about life beginning at conception, and that will not change. But, in making comments yesterday, I let my passionate stance against abortion get the better of me.

“What I said was inexcusable, and as sheriff, I would not use lethal force against an abortion doctor,” Szabo said.

Despite the controversy, Szabo is not dropping out of the race, and stands by another position that’s raised eyebrows. As sheriff he would arrest someone performing an elective abortion.

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“It’s obvious that it’s murder in my opinion and again the sheriff is someone that should be able to do something about that,” he said.