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By Associated Press
1; A City Council in Arizona voted Tuesday to demand departure from a Republican statesmaker whose remarks about racial and immigration have led to a growing backlash of criticism and loss of his presidency on a key committee.
Tuesday’s 6-1 vote of Prescott City Council comes only a few days after the recent comments by Rep David Stringer were published by the Phoenix New Times. He had ignored calls because he would resign after similar comments this summer and reclassified easily last month.
The Council adopted a statement calling on Stringer to quickly go down so that a replacement may be named before the legislative session begins January because he can no longer effectively represent the city or Yavapai County. Prescott is heavily Republican, has about 43,000 inhabitants and is about 100 miles north of Phoenix.
“His abominable words do not reflect our city or society, and while we condemn them, the word, any word, is not strong enough to express our contempt,” the Council stated the statement. “As proud members of this community, we are appalled that the views expressed by Mr. Stringer exist.”
Stringer has not returned to repeated calls from The Associated Press-seeking comments since last week.
Stringer recently told Arizona State University students that African Americans “do not mix” and said that Somali immigrants do not look like “all other children” as former European immigrants do.
In the New Times story, backed by sound recordings, Stringer is questioned by students about their views on immigration and race. He tells them that “diversity in our country is relatively new”.
He was then asked about immigrants from Eastern Europe who assimilated themselves well in the 20th century.
“They were all European,” said Stringer. “So after their second or third generation, everyone looks the same. Everyone is talking alike. It’s not the case with African American and other racial groups because they do not melt. They do not blend in. They always look different.”
Ask why is important, Stringer said that he did not know. He continued to discuss inner cities, white flights and how latino voters will never support republicans who recover stricter immigration controls.
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli at Tuesday’s meeting as Springer has “forgotten the moral compass in our great county” as outlined by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”
“According to his own words, Mr. Stringer has defined himself as someone who is not in agreement with our society,” Mengarelli said on Tuesday’s packed meeting. “He has been deadly injured and disqualified himself so that he will be ineffective which represents our issues with the state legislature.”
All but another councilor agreed to echo the mayor’s comments.
Commander Phil Goode voted no, saying he did not approve of the comments but Stringer’s fate was up to voters who chose him.
“He is directly responsible for voters, and they are responsible for recalling him on this issue if they choose” Goode said. “They reassigned him with great margins understanding his concerns about assimilation of immigrants, published to a large extent in June last year before the November elections.”
Stringer demanded that he resign in June from the Republican government, Doug Ducey, and the president of the state republican party after saying that minority immigration had made schools unable to integrate. He refused to say that his comments were cherry picked and that the immigration issue “screams for honest and open public discussion”.
“Sixty percent of the public school children in the state of Arizona are today minorities,” he said in a video clip from a political event sparking out in June punishments. “It complicates racial integration because there are not enough white kids to walk around.”
After his latest comments were published, incoming Republican House speaker Rusty Bowers emerged from a presidency presidency, saying that his comments were “wild” and “unacceptable”.
Goode said that he knows Stringer “reasonably well” and doubts he will leave.
“He did not go in June when the Governor and the President of the Republican Republic of Arizona asked for resignation, so it’s unlikely he’ll do it now,” said Goode.