A Georgia Republican said he brings a unique perspective to his statehouse race because he’s a white man.
Houston Gaines, a white former University of Georgia student body president, is the GOP candidate in a conservative Athens statehouse district running against Democratic attorney Deborah Gonzalez, who is Hispanic, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A pair of reporters from the Flagpole Magazine pressed Gaines, who graduated last year, to explain his perspective on the race to replace Republican Regina Quick, who is leaving to become a judge.
“I think it’s pretty clear that I bring a different perspective than what we’ve got,” Gaines said.
He agreed that his relative youth and family ties to the community made his perspective unique, but the reporters asked how his perspective differed from Gonzalez.
“It’s obvious by just looking at us that we have a different perspective,” Gaines said.
The reporters said the two candidates disagreed on many topics, but they asked him why his perspective was unique.
“The reality is that I bring one of the most unique perspectives, if not the most unique perspective, we’ve ever had in the state Capitol,” Gaines said. “That’s just the reality of the facts and in this race.”
A spokesman for the state’s Democratic Party described his remarks as “racist filth,” and said they were “disgraceful and disqualifying.”
The GOP candidate’s spokesman, however, complained afterward that the outrage was “just one more ridiculous and inane example of Democrats resorting to identity politics.”
The spokesman told the newspaper Gaines were simply referring to himself as “the voice of a new generation of leaders.”
The Gaines campaign then provided audio of Gonzalez referring to her opponent’s race in a radio interview.
“I know that they say he’s a nice guy and that he’s a different candidate,” Gonzalez told WUOG-FM. “But when I look at Houston Gaines, I see white. Male. Very wealthy. Supported by special interest groups.”