A Democratic candidate for North Carolina state House apologized on Monday for anti-immigration comments she made in a 2006 blog post.
Republicans have enough votes in the N.C. General Assembly to override vetoes issued by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Von Hassel-Davies is among the Democratic contingent hoping to break the Republican supermajority.
In a lengthy post from April 2006, she used strong language to criticize “Mexicans” and how the U.S. treats them.
“[D]o they not know what the word ILLEGAL means? Oh you know what, they might not since the US bends over backwards to kiss their f------ ass and spends how much of our tax dollars putting up signs in Spanish and American,” the post reads. “Okay we live in F----ing America people we speak English.”
The blog slammed immigrants who “feel it is their given rights” to become citizens and suggested her sons weren’t hired for jobs at McDonald’s because the restaurant chain hired “Mexicans” at a cheaper rate. The blog refers to North Carolina as “one of the highest Mexican populated states” and casts doubt on the notion that immigrants help boost the economy.
“Someone cited a statistic that most Mexicans come here to work — they send the brunt of their money home to family and the rest they save because after working here for so many years (sorry forgot the number but it isn’t a lot) they can go back to Mexico and live like king and queens with what they saved from working in the good ‘ol US of A.”
Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the N.C. GOP, called on Democrats to denounce her comments.
“Mrs. Hassel-Davies’ comments are reprehensible. We look forward to hearing from Governor Cooper, Rep. Graig Meyer, and Wayne Goodwin on her callous statements,” he said.
Monday afternoon, von Hassel-Davies said she was embarrassed by the post and that it doesn’t represent her views.
“After reading that blog post created more than a decade ago I am absolutely horrified and completely ashamed. My words were ignorant, wrong and do not reflect the views I hold today. I sincerely apologize to anyone that they hurt,” she wrote in an email.
“As you know my parents themselves were immigrants and they showed me firsthand the importance of working hard and treating everybody with respect,” she continued.
“I have grown throughout the years and through this my beliefs have changed along with my political party, which ultimately led me to run for office,” she said. “This journey has helped guide my campaign from day one and has helped me understand that our diversity should be celebrated, not attacked. Again I sincerely apologize to anyone that was hurt by my statements.”
The campaign website for von Hassel-Davies says she was a Republican for 30 years before switching to the Democrats after the party nominated Barack Obama for president.
Her campaign website also takes a softer — albeit, vaguer — position on immigration.
“I believe we are a land of immigrants and that this county was built on the back of immigrants. We should never, ever forget that. Laws should not be enacted that hurt immigration or any member of our community,” it says.
Robert Howard, spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, released a statement on the post.
“North Carolina Democrats believe in building a welcoming and inclusive state, and this candidate’s past views do not reflect the views of the party,” Howard said. “Republicans must really be worried if they’re drudging up blog posts from more than a decade ago in a district Trump won by 16 points.”