Former Charleston-based political commentator Jack Hunter, who worked under the name the “Southern Avenger,” has resigned his post as an aide to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

Hunter’s exit comes as the media spotlight this month focused on some of his past comments and writings, including one that President Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth’s heart was “in the right place.”

Paul, a Kentucky Republican and potential presidential candidate in 2016, told reporters in Louisville on Monday that some of Hunter’s past comments had become a distraction and that “it just wasn’t going to work.”

In one column from 2004 titled “John Wilkes Booth Was Right,” Hunter wrote “Although Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place, the Southern Avenger does regret that Lincoln’s murder automatically turned him into a martyr.”

Locally, Hunter wrote for the Charleston City Paper and also The Post and Courier’s entertainment section. He also did radio appearances. He did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. His website appears to have been taken down.

Paul said Hunter’s departure was a mutual decision. Paul confirmed the departure after a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Louisville.