A freshman Republican lawmaker in Illinois has apologized after audio recordings emerged which exposed her making disparaging comments about the race and sexual orientation of her Democratic opponent. State Representative Amy Grant apologized for her comments about challenger Ken Mejia-Beal, who is Black and gay. The audio snippets were released Monday in a virtual news conference by Assistant Majority Leader Will David, and according to Capitol Fax reportedly came from a taped phone call with an unidentified person.
“I mean he’s just another one of the Cook County people,” Grant can be heard in one of the released audio clips. “That’s all you’re gonna vote for is Cook County, another, ya know, Black Caucus, that’s all we need is another person in the Black Caucus.”
In another clip, Grant says she thinks Mejia-Beal is “afraid to come into the district” because “maybe he’s afraid of the reaction” he’d received from voters there previously. She went on to clarify she thought he’d receive a negative reaction “not because he’s Black, but because of the way he talks. He’s all LGBTQ. He wants to work for the chronically ill. He just gives us like crazy, and every week it’s a different reason for why he wants to get into the race.”
Davis currently represents Illinois District 42. The freshman Republican representative won her first term in 2018 with 54 percent of the vote. Mejia-Beal is a long-time resident of the district and told Ballotpedia the three key messages of his campaign were fiscal responsibility and transparency, making Illinois healthier, and making Illinois greener. He also said he is “passionate about making sure the American dream is a possible reality” for his constituents and the people of his state.
Davis later posted a one-line apology on Facebook in response to the revelations.
“I deeply regret the comments I made about Ken Mejia-Beal, and reached out to apologize to him this morning,” Davis said yesterday. “These comments do not reflect my heart or my faith.”
Mejia-Beal found her apology inadequate, noting that her original comments revealed by Grant “makes it clear she sees only the color of my skin and my sexual orientation.”