A Democratic Socialist running for a seat on Pennsylvania's House of Representatives called residents in her district "white working class poor folk who are racist" and is now feeling the heat over her comments, KDKA-TV reported.
Sara Innamorato (center) stands next to another Democratic socialist, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. (Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot)
Sara Innamorato defeated incumbent Rep. Dom Costa in the Democratic primary and has all but assured a victory, the station said — but comments she made on a podcast about her would-be constituents are causing an uproar.
“I just look at my district, right? And it’s 93 percent white," Innamorato said during the program, KDKA noted. "My district, which I know is like white working-class poor folk who are racist, because it’s so much easier for them to look to their side and say, ‘I’m going to blame that person.'”
The backlash hits
Believe it or not, a Republican resident has organized a bipartisan a write-in campaign for Costa in response to Innamorato's comments.
“We are not racist, and I don’t think we should send someone to Harrisburg that has that mindset that her constituents are racist,” Gary Britcher of Aspinwall told the station.
Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot
Costa didn't take too kindly to Innamorato's comments, either.
“I find it appalling ... they are not that type of people,” the state representative told KDKA.
Democratic Pennsylvania state Rep. Dom Costa (Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot)
And he added to the station that he appreciates any write-in effort: "I find it humbling, very humbling that people want to,” Costa added to the station.
What did Innamorato have to say about her comments?
KDKA said Innamorato declined an on-camera interview but did issue a lengthy statement about her comment on the Drinking Partners Podcast:
“This was the topic of a nearly two-hour-long conversation about race and politics on the podcast, and in no way did I seek to imply that all of my neighbors are racist. Hate begets hate, understanding begets understanding. I’m willing to have a conversation with any of my future constituents about this topic of race, and I will do anything in my power to make sure that the 21st District and beyond is a welcoming place for all.”
Innamorato is running unopposed for the 21st district seat. Her term would be for two years.