Tom Worthan, the longtime Republican Douglas County Commission Chairman in Georgia, has apologized after being secretly recorded making racist remarks about black Democratic candidates.
Local news station Fox 5 Atlanta reports that Worthan claims that he’s not racist and was only speaking as “a politician, trying to say what I needed to say to get a vote.”
Apparently, Worthan thought that he was trying to gin up support from a racist white man — but in reality, he was talking to a local resident named Mark Dodd, who is a supporter of local black Democratic candidates Tim Pounds and Romona Jackson Jones.
When Dodd asked Worthan what he thought would happen if Pounds were elected sheriff this fall, Worthan said he was worried that Dodd would put “a bunch of blacks in leadership positions.” Worthan later said the he was worried these “black brothers” would be “not qualified” to perform their required duties if appointed.
What’s more, Worthan said that black people tend to “bankrupt” communities when they take elected office, and that white people would have to “pack up and get out of here” if black candidates won.
Even so, Worthan insisted he wasn’t really a racist.
“I have many black friends, Hispanic friends and no, this is something that I should not have said. I certainly apologize to anybody that I might have hurt their feelings,” he said. “That’s not the way I feel.”
Check out a local news video of the incident below.