Rep. Amy L. Grant, an Illinois Republican seeking reelection, is now receiving backlash over racist and homophobic remarks made about her Democratic challenger Ken Mejia-Beal.
According to John Garcia, a reporter for Chicago’s Channel 7 (the local ABC affiliate), Grant can be heard making racist and anti-gay remarks about her opponent in a recording of a fundraising call with a prospective donor.
Mejia-Beal is African-American and openly gay.
Grant said of Mejia-Beal: “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.”
She also added, “I’m afraid he’s afraid of the reaction people might give him. Not because he’s Black, but because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ.”
Illinois State Rep. Greg S. Harris is among the Democrats who has called Grant out, saying, “This conduct is outrageous and despicable.” And another Democrat who serves in the Illinois House of Representatives, Will Davis, told Chicago 7, “Here is a person who is saying, ‘We don’t need any more Blacks. We don’t need any more gays.’ This kind of racist, homophobic behavior really needs to be called out.”
Grant, in an official statement, apologized and said, “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 faith.” But Brian Johnson of the group Equality Illinois is calling for Grant to exit the race.
“Homophobia and bigotry must have no home in DuPage County or anywhere in Illinois,” Johnson said in an official statement. “Grant must drop out of the election.”