Rep. Elizabeth Coggs told a crowd of voters at a candidate forum late last week that they should elect representatives who "look like them". The whole story is here if you haven't heard about it yet.
Her statements have been criticized by pretty much everyone asked about it, as they should be. Rep. Coggs is running in the Senate district that I live in and frankly, I am sick to death of people getting elected in this town for no other reason than what color their skin happens to be or what their last name is.
The whole thing is ridiculous for all the obvious reasons so I'm not going to go back over them. But the sentiment Rep. Coggs shared goes deeper than just saying something stupid, which is what it is, because it's something she obviously believes at a core level. For that reason alone I wouldn't support her.
On the political side of things, her competitor Nikiya Harris is blasting the statement Coggs made during a press conference this afternoon. Here's what she had to say:
Calling it “race baiting at its worst,” Harris demanded that Coggs apologize to the voters in the 10th District for the harm her remark has caused. Harris accused Coggs of using race as a way of deflecting attention from a twenty-five year record of “failed leadership.” Harris noted that Coggs’ tactic is similar to Walker’s “divide and conquer” strategy.“The people of Milwaukee pay a high price for these divisive tactics,” noted Harris. “When our elected leaders go to Madison, they should be working together as advocates for all Milwaukee…Instead, so-called leaders like Beth Coggs play these cheap political games that keep us separated. And this division is what allows Scott Walker to cut the budget for our schools, slash programs like BadgerCare, and ignore the need to create new jobs,” she continued.