Democratic State Rep. Gerald Brady will not seek re-election in 2022, he announced Monday.
Brady has represented the 4th district, which includes Greenville, in the House of Representatives since 2007.
His statement comes a week after he was caught using a racist slur to refer to women of Asian descent. He said in a statement Monday that there was no excuse for him to use that language and that having done so would make it impossible for him to be effective.
Brady had sent a message from his state email June 27 in response to a plea from an out-of-state advocate to consider decriminalizing prostitution.
Intending to forward the email to a friend, Brady accidentally replied to the advocate, saying, “Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free Blowjobs for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few chink broads will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??”
Brady was swiftly admonished by his own party in an open letter sent by House speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, majority leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Delaware City, and majority whip Larry Mitchell, D-Elsmere.
“Our country has seen anti-Asian hatred grow exponentially during this past year, fueled by reckless political figures and talking heads who have spewed rhetoric and lies,” the letter read.
“Asian Americans have experienced increased verbal harassment and violence. The March 2021 killing of six Asian women in Atlanta was rooted in the same racism, sexism and misogyny as your email.”
Several groups lashed out and called for his resignation, including Delaware Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Brady. The two are not related.
On Monday, she said, ““I’m glad to see that he made the right choice for himself and for the state.”
Last week, she said, “What Rep. Gerald Brady did was wrong in so many ways. First, he felt comfortable sharing a comment about a sex act with someone who is a staffer in his office. Second, he spoke about women in a way that made them objects, not people or individuals to be respected. And third, he demeaned the proud culture of Asian Pacific women by presuming that they are involved in the sex trafficking trade.”
In Gerald Brady’s Monday statement announcing he would not seek re-election, the legislator said, “My recent actions – using a deeply offensive anti-Asian slur and attempting to make a crass joke about human trafficking – make it more difficult to effectively provide the kind of representation all residents of the 4th District expect and deserve.
“There can be no excuse for my actions, and after careful reflection these past several days, I have decided that I will not seek re-election when my term ends. I cannot in good conscience ask the voters to put their faith in me again after I betrayed theirs. I can only humbly and unequivocally apologize again for my actions, for which I am solely responsible.”
Brady said in his statement he would complete the sensitivity training that his party leadership asked him to attend and will do his best to make amends with the Asian American community.
Shortly after he released his announcement, the House Democratic leadership issued their own statement.
“Rep. Brady’s comments were reprehensible, racist, sexist and indefensible, and each of us expressed that message to him during this past week,” It said. “After several very frank conversations with him these past few days, we are grateful that he has reached this decision today. We know that it cannot absolve his actions, but we hope it is a first step toward healing and addressing this situation.”
The Democratic leadership directly addressed Delaware’s Asian American community, saying, “We truly apologize for the hurt, anger and mistrust this past week has caused you. We are keenly aware of the growth in anti-Asian hatred during this past year, and the last thing anyone should have to experience on top of that is one of their elected representatives dehumanizing them as a joke. It’s appalling, and we must expect better.”
Sensitivity training will be made available to all members of the Democratic caucus, the leadership statement said, so the group is able to “learn of any microaggressions or other attitudes or actions that negatively impact the Asian American community.”
Brady vowed to “continue to work tirelessly to address the issues impacting my constituents as well as the citizens of Delaware.”
Just a few days before the email was revealed by The News Journal/DelawareOnline, he was being hailed for helping pass the bill that will raise Delaware’s minimum wage to $15.
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