PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — An embattled candidate answered his critics on Monday.
Republican congressional nominee Jim Russell bristled at suggestions he’s a racist. The candidate told CBS 2’s Lou Young the party is making a big mistake in trying to take him off the ballot.
“What’s happening here is political correctness gone wild,” Russell said.
Russell is complaining that he’s been victimized by his own party.
The Westchester County GOP has yanked its support because of what it calls Russell’s extreme racial views. He says he simply overstated some unpopular truths.
“Forced integration, forcible integration, sometimes it just doesn’t work in communities,” Russell said.
“This is the party of Lincoln and we don’t believe in what he’s espousing,” Westchester Republican chairman Doug Colety said.
Young got a look at the paper that got Russell in hot water, a piece for the right-wing Occidental Quarterly written in 2001 in which Russell defends segregation, decries racial intermarriage, and seems to embrace the Nazi science of Eugenics.
“The biological function of human language and culture,” Russell writes, “is to keep discrete groups apart.”
In that vain he decries the destructiveness of school integration.
And he cites hip hop culture and rap as example, claiming dark forces “scour the gutters of the ghetto for the most vile filth imaginable and serve it up to our children as their culture.”
On the street many agreed Russell has to go.
“I definitely think they should bounce him. I don’t think those views go away very easily,” Pleasantville businessman Matt Jaris said.
“I am very happy they’re walking away from this guy,” Mamaroneck resident Frank Vetere added.
“He’s on the Republican line. He no longer has the Republican party’s endorsement; he’s not being supported by the Republican Party. We are exploring legal options as to whether we can take him off that line or not,” Colety said.
Russell, however, said he’s not deterred.
“Definitely,” he said when asked if he’s still running, adding he doesn’t need a GOP endorsement, “Of course who needs it? I’m an independent candidate reporting to the people.”
When asked if he’s a racist, Russell said, “Definitely not!”
The Republicans say if they can’t pull him off the ballot they’ll shift their backing to an as yet unnamed write-in candidate.
Russell is seeking the seat currently held by 12-time incumbent Democrat Nita Lowey. The district encompasses much of Westchester and part of Rockland County.
To see Russell’s official website, please click here.