Politics

Tennessee Democratic Chairwoman Mary Mancini Apologizes For Calling State ‘Racist’ — But Maintains GOP Is ‘Bigoted’

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The chairwoman of the Tennessee Democratic Party admitted this week that she “used a poor choice of words” when she dismissed her state as “racist.”

In her apology, published by the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, Mary Mancini suggested Republicans in Tennessee are guilty of “bigotry, misogyny and homophobia.”

Mancini wandered into the political minefield earlier this month at a meeting with County Coffee Democrats when she mused about the candidates that Tennessee Democrats were nominating — supposedly not selecting enough people of color, millennials  or members of the LGBTQ community.

Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington June 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington June 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

“We have a little bit of a problem in this state, and I’m just going to say it outright,” Mancini said, according to Fox News. “This is a racist state.” (RELATED: Taylor Swift’s Political Outreach Falls Short And Political Commentators Let Her Know It)

Mancini reportedly repeated the smear again, this time referring to Tennessee as “a very racist state.”

The chairwoman’s comments did not resonate well, even within her own party — so she issued a half-hearted apology that suggested only Republicans are bigoted.

“In the heat and the frustration of seeing and hearing the constant drumbeat of bigotry, misogyny and homophobia coming from the Republicans at the state legislature, I used a poor choice of words and vented my frustration and I apologize,” Mancini wrote in her statement. (RELATED: Tennessee Senate Candidate Advocated For Taxpayers To Fund Down Syndrome Abortions)

In response to her frustration, Tennessee Republican Chairman Scott Golden told the Tennessean that Mancini’s words only hurt the image of the state while insisting Republicans are committed to “lift all Tennesseans up,” through education and employment.

In the November midterm elections, Republican Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first woman senator, replacing outgoing GOP Sen. Bob Corker.

In the lead-up to that election, a Democratic communications officer said the “idiots” who voted for President Donald Trump “aren’t listening” to other viewpoints.

US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at McKenzie Arena, in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump arrives for a “Make America Great Again” campaign rally at McKenzie Arena, in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

Mancini made her initial comments about race when she suggested a black candidate couldn’t win his state constituency because there are few minority voters and “two out of the three counties in that area are extraordinarily racist,” Mancini told the County Coffee Democrats, according to Fox.

“I wasn’t the only one who was told that we need to run someone who is not African-American in that district, because (some believed) an African-American cannot win in that district because white people will not vote for an African-American,” Mancini told the Tennessean.

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