SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – An Arizona congressional campaign has turned into a war of words over race.
Republican District 9 congressional candidate Vernon Parker, who is African-American, is upset about a picture that appears on mailers that were sent out in the district.
“It’s a photograph that makes me appear five shades darker,” he said. “My eyes are completely five shades whiter and my teeth are also.”
Parker is calling on his Democratic opponent, Kyrsten Sinema, to denounce the pictures.
Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a Valley civil rights leader, claimed that the pictures that were designed, distributed and authorized by the Arizona Democratic Party are racist.
“The most offensive race-targeting campaign materials that Black Arizonans have had to deal with in decades,” he said in a press release, adding that the pictures make Parker look like “a villainous field negro cut-out from some Jim Crow era minstrel-show poster.”
Parker said he was disappointed that the Democratic party put out the flier.
“It just saddens me that this race has come down to that, and that the Democratic party would be behind something like that,” he said.
There’s no indication from Sinema that she will denounce the photos. Her campaign manager, Rodd McLeod, claimed that the pictures came from Parker’s own Facebook page.
Frank Camacho with the Arizona Democratic Party said the only thing that the party did to the pictures was change them from color to black-and-white, something that’s very common in campaign practices, especially mailers.
“If you take ten mailers, your going to find probably half, at least, that have black-and-white photos,” he said.
Camacho claimed Parker is trying to bring race into the campaign as an issue because he lacks substance on the issues and McLeod agreed. He said Parker doesn’t have a lot of credibility, and the accusations are a sign of desperation.
“I think that he recognizes that the positions he’s taken are so out of step with the priorities and values of the voters of this district, including that he’s talking about getting rid of the Department of Education,” said McLeod.
Parker, on the other hand, said all he wants to do is talk about the issues.
“People want to work,” he said. “They want to provide for their families. I’m not going to let the pettiness of the Democratic party get in the way of me talking about how we’re going to get the middle class back to work.”
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck