We wrote on Wednesday about the incredible circus of a State House vacancy in Pueblo involving the HD-47 seat left open by the resignation of Rep. Clarice Navarro. Former Otero County Republican Party Chair Judy Reyher appears to have won a narrow victory through a Republican vacancy committee, though another candidate (Tamra Axworthy) is challenging Monday’s decision and claiming that she is the rightful successor to Navarro.
Meanwhile, Reyher is coming under fire for a history of racist social media posts that she inexplicably defended in an interview with Jesse Paul of the Denver Post on Wednesday. If you missed those comments, you missed one of the all-time great examples of what NOT to say in response to questions from a reporter:
A southeast Colorado Republican appointed this week to a vacant seat in the state legislature questions if former President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. and has criticized African Americans and Muslims on her Facebook page, actions that have garnered pushback from top state party officials.
Speaking to The Denver Post, Judy Reyher, of Swink, also said that “the black community and the Democrats are the most racist group of people that exist,” and that black people “hate white people with a passion.”…
…Reyher says nothing she has said about Obama has had anything to do with race — “I hated the black half of Obama as much as I hated the white half” — and that she doesn’t have blanket beliefs about any group of people.
Perhaps recognizing that she had made her situation much, much worse, Reyher today took another stab at responding to the Denver Post about her racist screeds. Reyher apologized, sort of, before proceeding to dig herself a deeper hole:
“I would like to apologize for the comments or posts on Facebook that have been found offensive and racist,” Judy Reyher said in a statement emailed to The Denver Post. “However, the fact of the matter is, I am not a racist. This country was founded by immigrants, and I embrace all Americans, no matter their walk of life. Diversity is what makes America, America.”
Reyher, appointed Monday night to the vacated seat of state Rep. Clarice Navarro, said diversity “in fact … makes my family,” referring to a photograph from her son’s wedding in China that she included with her statement. [Pols emphasis]
Come again? This is a new twist to the classically awful defense against discrimination that goes something like, I’m not racist — I have a black friend, or I don’t have a problem with gay people — my neighbor is gay!
Of course, as it usually the case in these sorts of stories, it gets worse from here. Reyher is now blaming the Denver Post for her own racist tendencies:
“These claims of racism by the Denver Post are absolutely deplorable, and I will not be distracted by them,” the statement reads.
In case you are inclined to believe that Reyher is somehow being victimized by Colorado’s newspaper of record, let us remind you that these stories are all based on Reyher’s own detailed social media posts. You can read the racist posts in question for yourself by clicking HERE or HERE.
Judy Reyher is still on track to take a seat as a member of the State House when the legislature reconvenes in January.