Illinois Republican Congresswoman Amy Grant is running to keep her seat in the state House of Representatives this November.
Her chances of winning may have taken a major hit, however, after she was caught on leaked recordings making bigoted remarks about her Democratic opponent.
Grant is running against Ken Mejia-Beal, an openly gay Black man, for the seat in Illinois's 42nd District. In the recording, which features Grant speaking with one other person, the Congresswoman can be heard to describe Mejia-Beal as "just another one of the Cook County people" (Cook County notably contains Chicago).
Grant also said:
"That's all you're gonna vote for in Cook County, another, you know, Black Caucus. That's all we need is another person in the Black Caucus."
Grant also said Mejia-Beal was avoiding voters outside of Chicago "because of the way he talks, he's all LGBTQ."
Ken Mejia-Beal for Illinois State Representative District 42 youtu.be
After her comments were leaked, Grant was quick to apologize, saying in a statement:
"I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize to him this morning...These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith."
Mejia-Beal confirmed Grant had reached out to him, though he noted she simply recited her public statement to him over the phone.
My statement on the bigoted comments made by Amy Grant : https://t.co/6rgz52tcBC— Ken Mejia-Beal (@Ken Mejia-Beal) 1600718793.0
The Democrat commented in a statement:
"Representative Grant makes it clear that she sees only the color of my skin and my sexual orientation. And that, in her mind, disqualifies me as a leader and even disqualifies me as a member of our community."
Majority Leader @repgregharris on the controversial recorded phone call with Rep. Amy Grant and an openly gay perso… https://t.co/jyMvMW8t1L— BlueRoomStream (@BlueRoomStream) 1600701913.0
He also noted:
"Where is Representative Grant's apology to those who hear her comments and wonder if they fit into her vision of our community? Where is the apology to all whose faith calls them to love their neighbors as themselves?"
@RepChrisWelch on Rep. Amy Grant: "We have a sitting state representative using a racist and homophobic pitch to ra… https://t.co/HJIfaXyycg— BlueRoomStream (@BlueRoomStream) 1600702717.0
Many of Grants colleagues in the statehouse openly spoke out against her comments, with her fellow Republican Will Davis going so far as to say:
"Rep. Grant makes it real clear that, in her opinion, some people do not deserve to be a part of the community or to represent that community in the General Assembly. That, indeed, is appalling."
@RepChrisWelch cont'd: "Think about that, Representatives Amy Grant was comfortable saying racist and homophobic th… https://t.co/K9HzODsGnY— BlueRoomStream (@BlueRoomStream) 1600702717.0
@kmbfor42 As if we needed another reason for you to beat her. Go Ken!— Brian Bennett (@Brian Bennett) 1600719095.0
@kmbfor42 @DuPage_Dems So sorry you have to endure this. You got this! Good luck!— ACE-Naperville (@ACE-Naperville) 1600793458.0
Twitter users lined up to support Mejia-Beal in the face of this insulting bigotry.
@kmbfor42 I will be getting a sign to support you immediately. I am sorry you had to hear such hateful comments fro… https://t.co/YVjy9MC6l0— SoxTom (@SoxTom) 1600815554.0
@ABC7Chicago Only sorry because she got caught. Her words reflect the attitudes she holds. She could openly state t… https://t.co/mWYwMoau3o— KathyB (@KathyB) 1600736599.0
@ABC7Chicago She’s not sorry. It does reflect her true heartfelt feelings. She won’t drop out because her fellow Re… https://t.co/fwyPFet5Tm— Matt Lehman (@Matt Lehman) 1600873036.0
Many online couldn't believe they were still hearing about behavior like this in the 21st century.
It looks like IL State Rep Amy Grant is taking a page right out of Trump’s racist, homophobic playbook. It’s time… https://t.co/Sp9hwu051Y— Marie Newman (@Marie Newman) 1600722458.0
This was State Rep. Amy Grant. The comments are bad but I was expecting far worse, to be honest. Regardless, it’s n… https://t.co/TF7cjPJFcw— Chaz Nuttycombe (@Chaz Nuttycombe) 1600706005.0
Anyone, regardless of race of sexuality, can be qualified to represent their community in the government.
The racist and homophobic statements by Amy Grant are disqualifying. Hate has no place in our politics. https://t.co/2SNmSHgeCL— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@LGBTQ Victory Fund) 1600721435.0
Time will tell whether Illinois voters can accept statements like these from their representatives or whether they'd like to give a voice to someone new.