Arizona lawmaker ignores calls to step down over racist comment
PHOENIX — An Arizona state representative did not respond to calls from his own party to step down for saying “there aren’t enough white kids to go around.”
Rep. David Stringer, a Republican from Prescott, said Wednesday he did not have a response to Arizona Republican Party chairman Jonathan Lines calling for him to resign following his comments made earlier this month during the Yavapai County Republican Men’s Forum.
“These words have no place in our party, or in our state,” Lines said at the time.
Gov. Doug Ducey also agreed with the calls for resignation, his spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in a tweet.
Stringer called the information “incomplete” and said he doubted that Ducey “has seen the full 17-minute video.”
The representative also dismissed the claim that he was a white nationalist, saying he has no associations with any alt-right or white nationalist organization.
“I think that term white nationalist is used in many different contexts. I am not a white nationalist in the way that I understand that term,” he said during the Wednesday press conference at a Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles.
In a statement, Arizona Republican Party spokeswoman Ayshia Connors called the press conference an “apology tour” that was “highly offensive, insensitive and counterproductive.
“The optics of this are despicable and it just goes to show how tone-deaf David Stringer really is. I don’t know who put him up to this, but it was an awful move,” Connors said.
The clip of Stringer’s comments started circulating after David Schapira, a Democrat running for superintendent of schools, downloaded the video and posted a portion of it on his Facebook and Twitter pages. It received more than 25,000 views within 21 hours. Schapira later re-posted the full video.
An AZ legislator made these overtly racist comments about our students. It's time to remove xenophobic radicals from elected office this November! We deserve leaders who understand we're a nation of immigrants who bring a diversity of experiences & ideas. https://t.co/P5I9QpUHDI pic.twitter.com/NSrJS2WZA3
— David Schapira (@dschapira) June 13, 2018
“Sixty percent of public school children in the state of Arizona today are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren’t enough white kids to go around,” Stringer said in part of the video.
The clip also shows Stringer saying “immigration is politically destabilizing” and “immigration today represents an existential threat to the United States.”
“If we don’t do something about immigration very, very soon, the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed and we will be a very different country and we will not be the country you were born into,” he said.
The speech was originally livestreamed on Stringer’s Facebook and saved to his campaign page, but it was later removed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.