Chuck Chatham, a committee member of the Garland County Republican Party in Arkansas, was quoted as saying he campaigned against one candidate for state legislature, Democrat Jerry Rephan, because he is a “pro-abortion Jewish lawyer.”
Chatham told TPM today that it was “inadvertent” that he referred to Rephan as Jewish, and that he simply does not feel “he is a good match to the conservative people of Garland County.”In an e-mail, obtained by Blue Arkansas Blog, Chatham explains his opposition to Rephan, who is campaigning in a special election against Republican Bruce Cozart for a seat in District 24, which remains vacant after the death of state legislator Keith Krass.
“The election is between Bruce Cozart (R),” Chatham wrote, “a pro-life, Christian who has served a number of years on the Lake Hamilton school board and Jerry Rephan (D). Jerry is a pro-abortion Jewish lawyer who specializes in ‘environmental law’ which means his primary clients as such were the Sierra Club and PETA, among others.”
“This is a very important race to anyone who values Christian principles,” he continued.
When asked about it today, Chatham told TPM that any reference to Rephan’s being Jewish was “inadvertent.”
“It has nothing to do with his faith,” he said, but “the issue is the fact is that he is a liberal individual.”
Chatham added that he was trying to convey: “Do you want to have to someone who matches your conservative values?”
When pressed, Chatham admitted that he “did it very poorly,” and would apologize if he offended anyone.
The special election is being held on Tuesday.