PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Chairman on the Arizona Republican Party has called on a GOP state lawmaker to resign immediately, after remarks he made sparked allegations of racism.
State Rep. David Stringer of Prescott made the controversial remarks, during a speech at the Yavapai County Republican Men's Forum. His speech Monday was livestreamed on Facebook and was available to watch on his campaign page. It was later removed. In the speech, State Rep. Stringer made remarks that "there aren't enough white kids to go around" when discussing integration in schools.
Stringer also said if nothing is done about immigration "the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed."
In a brief statement posted on the Arizona Republican's website Thursday, Jonathan Lines said these words "have no place in our party, or in our state."
On Thursday, the Governor's Office retweeted a tweet made by Gov. Ducey spokesperson Daniel Scarpinato. In the tweet, Scarpinato said Gov. Ducey agrees with Lines, and supports the call on Stringer to resign.
On Thursday afternoon, State House Speaker J.D. Mesnard also released a statement on State Rep. Stringer. While the statement stopped short of calling on Stringer to resign, Speaker Mesnard did announce he is dissolving an ad hoc study committee on criminal justice reform that Stringer was chairing.
“I completely disagree that immigration poses a threat to the United States. We are a nation of immigrants – we have been since before our founding and will continue to be as long as our country remains a beacon of freedom and opportunity around the world. While some find challenge in diversity, I believe that any challenge makes us better for it.
Ultimately, Representative Stringer’s future in the Legislature will be up to him and the voters of District 1. In the meantime, I am dissolving the Ad Hoc Study Committee on Criminal Justice Reform, which Representative Stringer had been chairing. This does not mean that the discussion about criminal justice reform is over, as I know there is strong bipartisan interest to look at the issue, and I thank the members for being willing to serve on this committee. However, so as to avoid compromising the issue, future work will not take place in the form of this committee.”
In a post made to his Facebook page Thursday afternoon, State Rep, Stringer said his political opponents have "taken 51 seconds out of a 16 minute speech to try to distort my message and mislead voters", and that he is not afraid of "conservative bigwigs" and "liberal bullies".
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.