State Watch

Local Texas Democratic chair apologizes for calling Sen. Scott an 'Oreo'

The chair of a local Texas Democratic Party is apologizing Tuesday after calling Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) an "Oreo."

Lamar County Democratic Party Chairman Gary O'Connor sent a letter to Scott apologizing for using the racial slur, which the party posted on their Facebook  page. 

"To Sen. Tim Scott, the residents of Lamar County, especially our Black residents, and to my family and friends, I profoundly apologize for the racially insensitive remark I made towards Sen. Scott last week," O'Connor said in his statement. "I was wrong and I apologize."

O'Connor also offered his resignation to the party, but local party officials said they had declined to accept it.

"Gary O'Connor has led Lamar County Democrats for seven years and his life of service, collaboration, and activism for racial justice is well known throughout this community. His recent remark is incompatible with his core values," the party said in its statement.

"Lamar County Democrats recommit ourselves to conduct our private conversations and our public social media discussions with anti-racist, pro-reconciling attitudes and language. We strongly condemn bigotry of any kind and will continue our historic efforts to work for justice and equality for all our fellow citizens," the party added.

O'Connor's apology comes after a now-deleted Facebook post, in which he called Scott an "Oreo" after Scott gave the GOP response to President Biden's congressional address Thursday. During Scott's rebuttal, the senator said that the U.S. is not a racist country and stated that he's been referred to as a "Uncle Tom" by his Democratic counterparts. 

O'Connor faced backlash and criticism from Texas Republicans in response to his comment, including Allen West, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, who posted a tweet Tuesday vowing to call for O'Connor's resignation and standing up against systemic racism. 

The Hill has reached out to O'Connor for further comment.