PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sara Innamorato is a Democratic Socialist candidate running for Pennsylvania state representative.READ MORE: No Injures Reported, Second Floor Of Penn Hills Home Destroyed In Fire
After defeating incumbent Rep. Dom Costa in the Democratic primary, she appeared to be coasting to victory, but then made this comment while recording a podcast about her future constituents.
“I just look at my district, right? And it’s 93 percent white. 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.'”
It’s causing a backlash.
Gary Britcher, a Republican from Aspinwall, has organized what he calls a bi-partisan a write in campaign for Rep. Costa.
“We are not racist, and I don’t think we should send someone to Harrisburg that has that mindset that her constituents are racist,” he said.READ MORE: 'Their Memory Is Going To Be Eternal:' Ride Honoring Fallen Police Officers Makes Stop In Western Pennsylvania
Innamorato declined an on-camera interview, but sent a lengthy statement about her comment on the Drinking Partners Podcast, a conversation about racism.
“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.”
“I find it appalling that somebody would say something; they are not that type of people,” said Rep. Costa.
For his part, rep. Costa says he has no involvement in the write-in campaign, but would welcome the vote.
“I find it humbling, very humbling that people want to,” he said.MORE NEWS: Gov. Tom Wolf Wants Lawmakers To Extend Opioid Emergency Declaration
Innamorato is still technically unopposed, and it’s far from clear that this eleventh hour effort has any real chance of derailing her candidacy. Still, it will be up to the voters in the distinct to decide.