Monday, April 6, 2020
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Del. Mark Keam Rips Barbara Favola’s “Offensive” Comments About Latinos, Puerto...

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Del. Mark Keam tells me that he has not endorsed in the 31st State Senate district Democratic primary, nor does he intend to do so. However, he came across the bizarro Barbara Favola phone call story I posted on Blue Virginia the other day, and it prompted a strong reaction from him -- particularly the part where Favola says there are no Latinos in the district, implying that Jaime Areizaga-Soto is unelectable for that reason, and also that he's received most of his donations from friends and family in Puerto Rico (not sure what she's implying there, exactly, but you can decide for yourselves on that one).

Anyway, I talked to Del. Keam a few minutes ago, and he was still very angry about Favola's comments, which he says could "potentially damage the years of efforts that minorities have made to fully participate in our democratic process". Del. Keam told me to feel free to repost what he wrote on Facebook here on Blue Virginia. (note: bolding added by me for emphasis)

Hey Dewita, thank you for sharing this article. I saw the headline on Lowell Feld's post the other day so I skimmed it quickly then, but I just re-read it carefully based on you pointing out the potential racial issue.

If this conversation happened the way Lowell reported it (I've known Lowell for many years and I have absolutely no reason to doubt his integrity or accuracy) I have to agree with you that this is indeed troubling.

I can't think of any justifiable reason why anyone -- particularly a Democratic officeholder -- would say such things about an ethnic minority candidate: that a Latino candidate has no base in a district because there aren't many Latinos there, or that there's something wrong with accepting donations from family and friends who live in Puerto Rico.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that there are plenty of Hispanic American (and other minority) voters in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudon, this allegation is simply offensive on its face. How can anyone in the year 2011 assume that an ethnic candidate cannot be elected without the support of fellow minorities?