SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state representative thinking about seeking a state Senate seat said he wasn't "comfortable" with the thought of a woman president in a call to a radio talk show nearly a decade ago.

Republican Rep. Dallas Heard telephoned the Rush Limbaugh's show in 2009, years before being elected to public office, saying he had "a lot more confidence and a lot more comfort" under male leadership, The Register-Guard reported .

Heard on Monday described himself as a "brash jerk" when he made those comments, saying he has no issues with women serving in leadership positions. He said he has endorsed several female candidates in local and state elections.

"I look forward to casting my vote for my niece when she runs for president someday," he said.

Heard, then 24, called the Limbaugh program during a discussion on a potential presidential run by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Heard declared he had traditional values and he grew up under an oppressive feminist movement, according to a transcript of the show.

"I have not had a lot of great experiences under female leadership, whether it's in business or school or whatnot," Heard said then.

Heard, who was elected in 2014, has expressed interest in replacing Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse, who is resigning in mid-March. An investigation determined Kruse had harassed women with unwelcome physical contact.

Heard said on Monday that he is "strongly leaning" toward seeking the seat. County commissioners in Kruse's district will chose a replacement from a pool of three to five candidates proposed by local party officials.


Information from: The Register-Guard,