The city of Lakeville deleted an objectionable tweet this week that GOP politicians criticized as public support for a political campaign.

Screenshots on social media show the city retweeted a photo on Wednesday of Lakeville Mayor Matt Little, a DFLer, at a fundraising event along with the comment: "Awesome picture of the Mayor!" The tweet has since been removed.

Because Little is running for the state Senate, Republicans say the tweet violated the federal Hatch Act, which forbids governing bodies from displaying partisan support. Little is contending for the District 58 Senate seat against Republican Tim Pitcher, who sits on the Farmington City Council.

Lakeville City Administrator Justin Miller was not available for comment Thursday because he's out of the office until Tuesday, according to a representative at City Hall. Little also could not be reached for comment.

Miller responded to Republican critics on Wednesday via Twitter: "That was posted in error and was immediately removed once brought to my attention. We apologize for the error," he posted.

The Hatch Act of 1939 is designed to ensure that municipalities do not influence voters.

"As mayor, Matt should make it clear that no city resources be used to campaign for him," Pitcher said. "As for the Senate district, I'll let the voters pass judgment."

Natalie Daher