NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates has apologized after tweeting a derogatory comment about the appearance of House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn that some Democrats said was an antisemitic attack.
The Washington Post reports that Hahns Copeland, who is running to represent the Norfolk-based 89th District, on Friday tweeted a response to a tweet by House Democrats that featured a video of Filler-Corn, who is Jewish, talking about a child care subsidy program. “I was surprised to see a pair of eyes and a mouth with that NOSE,” Copeland tweeted.
Copeland apologized in another tweet late Friday, calling the earlier tweet “immature and impulsive.”
“It was never intended to be anti-Semitic or reference her ethnicity or religion,” Copeland’s tweet said. He conceded his earlier tweet was “inappropriate and insensitive.” Democrats said it was an anti-semitic attack on Filler-Corn. Filler-Corn’s staff said Friday she had not heard directly from Copeland.
“These types of hateful comments are unfortunately far too common today, and they are too often invoked instead of solutions to the real issues Virginians face,” Filler-Corn said in a statement. “I hope this candidate and his supporters choose to do what is right and acknowledge that words from those in office or seeking it have an impact, whether they say them directly or from behind a screen.”
Copeland faces Democratic incumbent Jerrauld C. “Jay” Jones in November’s election. The 89th District leans strongly Democratic.