Virginia Republican apologizes for mocking Jewish House speaker

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A Republican political candidate in Virginia apologizes for poking fun at the speaker at the State Jewish House – but says his comment was not meant to be anti-Semitic.

Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat, made history in 2020 when she became the first Jewish woman and the first president of the United States’ oldest legislature, the Virginia House of Delegates.

Last week, the State House Democratic Caucus tweeted Filler-Corn’s praise for her work on education, attaching a photo of her speaking in an online meeting. Hahns Copeland, a Republican running for a House seat, responded with a biting comment.

“I was surprised to see a pair of eyes and a mouth with that NOSE,” he wrote.

Copeland quickly deleted the tweet, but not before Democrats captured it, and took the opportunity to denounce the candidate seeking to overthrow a Democratic incumbent in the state’s 89th district. (The whole House is re-elected this year.)

Democratic Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn speaks after being sworn in as the first female Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates as the General Assembly meets in Richmond, Virginia, United States. (credit: JONATHAN DRAKE / REUTERS)

“It is extremely anti-Semitic and has no place in our politics, especially a day after Yom Kippur,” 89th place holder Jay Jones said on Twitter. The district, which covers Norfolk on the coast, is strongly Democratic.

Copeland apologized in a tweet Friday night and said he had no intention of hinting at offensive stereotypes about Jewish noses.

“My comment regarding Eileen Filler-Corn earlier today was immature and impulsive,” Copeland said in a tweet Friday night. “This was never intended to be anti-Semitic or to refer to his ethnicity or religion. I apologize to anyone I may have offended. This is not a true reflection of my character. , my beliefs and my values. ”

Copeland said he had Jewish friends who loved him. “While the Tweet is ugly and unfortunate, it was never discussed how Democrats describe it,” he wrote. “Many of my friends in the Jewish community know and love me. They know me as a Christian and full of love.

Filler-Corn told the Washington Post that she has yet to hear from Copeland directly. “These types of hateful comments are unfortunately far too common today, and they are too often cited in lieu of solutions to the real problems that Virginians face,” she said in a statement.

In July, another Republican House candidate in Virginia apologized after saying being a conservative teacher in the state was like being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

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