By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The head of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party says he will ask ward leaders to consider withdrawing their endorsement of one City Council candidate because of Facebook posts that were said to be racially charged.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, currently running for re-election in the Seventh District, was not endorsed by the Democratic Party. Instead, ward leaders are backing a little-known challenger, Manny Morales.
Quiñones-Sánchez has publicly denounced what she says are racial and sexist Facebook posts by Morales.
And now, US Rep. Bob Brady, head of the Democratic City Committee, says he wants that district’s ward leaders to consider withdrawing their support of Morales.
“I am sure that the ward leaders, when they did the endorsement, they did not know that this existed. And we still don’t know whether its accurate. But if it is accurate, it’s very troublesome. Anybody can make an allegation. But if they’re true, I would make a recommendation to the ward leaders that they withdraw their support from him as a candidate.”
Brady says he wants the ward leaders to meet with him and Morales on the matter “as soon as possible,” though he would not get specific on a timeframe.
The Facebook page with the incendiary comments has been taken down, but the campaign of Quiñones-Sánchez has posted its own web site, MeetMannyMorales.com, with what it says are screen images of those posts.
“There’s a little bit about everybody,” Quiñones-Sánchez says of the posts. “His anti-black statements, his anti-women statements, his pro-voter ID statements, his ‘English-only’ statements. They (the ward leaders) need to rescind this endorsement, because he does not represent Democratic values. He only becomes a candidate with their support, and so they need to take him out of the race.”
This afternoon, Morales issued a statement denying that the Facebook posts were his. He said he is exploring legal options in response to the councilwoman’s allegations.
Quiñones-Sánchez is seeking her third term representing the Seventh District, which has a large Latino population. Her first two terms were won without support from the party.