UMass College Democrats send letter of apology to Alex Morse

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst College Democrats apologized to Democratic Congressional candidate Alex Morse for the “distress” and “homophobic attacks” triggered by the letter they released earlier this month alleging inappropriate behavior.

In a letter published by the school’s student newspaper from UMass Amherst’s College Democrats chapter, Morse, a progressive running against House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), was accused of using his status as Mayor of Holyoke, Mass., and a lecturer at the institution to seek relationships with students. 

However, The Intercept reported that the Massachusetts Democratic Party had discussed with the College Democrats ways to damage Morse’s campaigns as early as October, 2019. Supporters of Morse then called for an investigation into the claims made in The Intercept’s reporting.

The College Democrats, who are now under new leadership, sent a letter apologizing to its membership as well as a note apologizing to Morse directly.

“We want to tell you that we are deeply sorry for the distress that the public reaction to the letter must have caused you,” the note, which was obtained by The Hill, read.  

The group claimed that they did not intend for the letter to become public. They also rejected The Intercept’s reporting, claiming that they were not aware of those conversations. 

“However, we should have realized that the language of the letter was careless and played into homophobic stereotypes that have been used to oppress gay men in politics. We understand that no apology of ours can make up for the homophobic attacks you have suffered as a result of our actions; nonetheless, we wish to apologize,” they added. 

Meanwhile, Morse and Neal will go head-to-head in the Massachusetts primary next Tuesday. 

Morse, who is backed by Justice Democrats and several other progressive groups, has been behind the 16-term incumbent in at least two polls. Neal also entered the race with a significantly larger war chest of $2.75 million in cash on hand heading into the primary. Morse’s campaign has $296,000.

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