Delaware House Democrat who used racist, sexist slurs says he won’t resign or seek reelection
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A Delaware Democrat state lawmaker who was caught using racist and sexist language in an email to describe sex workers is resisting calls for his resignation – and has instead decided to not seek reelection after his current term expires.
Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington has been under fire after the comments surfaced in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution. Thinking he was forwarding an email from an advocate to another person from whom he was seeking input, Brady instead mistakenly hit "reply" and sent his comments to the advocate, the Associated Press says.
"Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??" Brady wrote from his official government email address, according to the news agency.
Rep. Gerald Brady, who is facing calls for his resignation, says he won't seek reelection. (Delaware House Democrats)
On Monday, Brady released a statement saying he wouldn’t relinquish his position, but he wouldn’t seek reelection either.
"I cannot in good conscience ask the voters to put their faith in me again after I betrayed theirs," said Brady, who is executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO and was elected to the Delaware House in 2006.
Democrat House leaders directed Brady last week to complete sensitivity training and reach out to members of the Asian American community in an effort to regain their trust. But they indicated in their own statement Monday that they are not interested in initiating disciplinary proceedings that could lead to Brady’s suspension or expulsion from the House.
"We want to be clear about something we have heard from residents this past week: As a duly elected official, only Rep. Brady can make a decision about his political future. House leadership cannot unilaterally take action," House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Majority Whip Larry Mitchell said in a joint statement.
However, that isn’t true, according to the Associated Press.
Schwartzkopf, Longhurst and Mitchell are members of the House Ethics Committee, which is chaired by Longhurst and includes Republican Minority Leader Danny Short and Minority Whip Tim Dukes. House rules authorize the committee to investigate complaints that a lawmaker has violated the rules of legislative conduct.
Among the rules of legislative conduct: "A member shall not engage in conduct which the House determines (i) brings the House into disrepute or (ii) reflects adversely on the member’s fitness to hold legislative office."
Ethics Committee rules state that any House member, including any member of the committee, can file a complaint. If a majority of the committee decides that the complaint has been proven, the committee can then, again by majority vote, recommend that the House take "appropriate action," up to and including expulsion of the offending lawmaker.
Despite describing Brady’s remarks as "reprehensible, racist, sexist and indefensible," Democratic leaders indicated that, instead of an Ethics Committee investigation, they would make sensitivity training available to all members of the House.
"While we do not believe our colleagues harbor such views, it would be beneficial for them to learn of any microaggressions or other attitudes or actions that negatively impact the Asian American community, and how we all can take steps to improve our relationships with the community," they said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.