A mayor in upstate New York is rejecting calls for him to resign over his social media post that described Democratic voters as “retarded.”
Denis Langlois, mayor of Fort Ann, told local news outlet The Post Star in an interview Monday that he will not step down and plans to run for reelection.
“I’m not a quitter, and I won’t quit for no reason at all,” Langlois said. “No one will make me quit. I won’t quit. I took a job, and I’ll complete my job.”
Langlois faced backlash over his pre-Election Day post on Facebook in which he referred to Democrats as "retarded," a word that is largely considered offensive by disability rights organizations and others.
"If anyone that I know vote [sic] for a Democrat on Tuesday you should sign yourself into the Mental Health unit at your local Hospital because you are retarded and need help, Vote Republican and 'Keep America Great'!"
He has not apologized for the comment, but did remove the post after screenshots were circulated.
In his Monday interview with The Post Star, he stood by his previous defense of the post, saying that he made the comment as a private citizen, and that it reflects what he believes.
He added that he used the word to mean “you’re foolish, or you’re downright dumb,” and insisted that he would never use the word “retard.”
Langlois said that he did not intend to “hurt anybody’s feelings.”
“I had a poor choice of words, if you want to put that,” he said. “I still believe what I want to believe in. I shouldn’t have used the words ‘mental health’ and ‘retarded.’ I should have said if somebody chooses a direction to go, it’s not what I would do. I think that would have been better.”