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Texas GOP Candidate Says He Wants Minorities to ‘Use Their Food Stamps’ Instead of Voting

A Texas GOP candidate was caught on tape talking about his strategy to minimize minority turnout in his area.

Speaking to fellow Republicans,  Ron Natinsky, a candidate for Dallas County Judge, explained why he thought it was a good idea to allow a Democratic incumbent for Congress to run without a Republican opponent.

“You might question, ‘why would you talk a Republican out of running against Eddie-Bernice Johnson?’, Natinsky said last year, speaking of the first black lawmaker from Northern Texas.

“Well, because we don’t want to motivate her voters,” he explained. “We don’t need another 5 or 10,000 of her people going to the polls. What we want them to think is, ‘There’s no reason. She doesn’t have an opponent. I don’t need to go to the polls. I’ll go spend my food stamp money at the grocery store or whatever, you know, on Election Day.”

Natinsky has since denied he has said that, but the Dallas News has the remarks on tape, although Natinsky admitted he had not watched.

“I haven’t seen the video and don’t remember what I said a year ago,” Natinsky said. “I don’t see the connection between spending food stamps on food and voting.”

He later told a CBS affiliate that he was not sorry for those words he couldn’t remember either but he was “sorry that people are misinterpreting it because it is being taken somewhat out of context.”

Johnson, who is likely to retain her Congressional seat – which is being challenged only by two other third-party candidates – did not comment on Natinsky’s food stamp reference, but did encourage the people of her district to vote.

“There are forces, local and national , who are expecting you to sit at home, and who believe that you will allow this election to pass you exercising our constitutional right to cast a vote,” Rep. Johnson said.“The stakes are too high! Our future depends on your participation . Vote to protect what we have fought for.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.