Illinois Republican state Rep. Amy Grant, who represents a district in suburban DuPage County, is facing growing calls to drop out of the race after making a series of racist and homophobic remarks about her opponent, Democrat Ken Mejia-Beal, who is both African American and openly gay.
The attacks were made during a fundraising call with a prospective donor, which she consented to be recorded.
“He’s just another one of those Cook County people. That’s all you’re going to vote for is the Cook County, you know another Black caucus,” said Grant. Cook County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Illinois and contains most of the city of Chicago.
“Mentioning Cook County is just a code word for Black,” said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.
Members of the Black and LGBTQ caucuses in the legislature played the call for reporters.
“I’m afraid he’s afraid of the reaction people might give him,” Grant says. “Not because he’s Black. But because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ.”
Faced with outrage, Grant apologized in a statement saying she “deeply regrets” the attack.
“I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize this morning. These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith,” Grant said.
Mejia-Beal has issued his own statement calling the comments “hurtful, degrading and wholly unacceptable.”
“Homophobia and bigotry must have no home in DuPage County or anywhere in Illinois,” said Equality Illinois in a statement. “Grant must drop out of the election.”
Listen to her comments below:
In response — she says she did not know nor did she give permission for her to be recorded. (As if that’s an excuse?)
However the Illinois state Democrats released this part of the call that proves she knew it was recorded. 🧾 pic.twitter.com/gPXVblr24g
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) September 23, 2020