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Prescott City Council Calls on State Rep. Stringer to Resign For Racist Comments

The vote was met with applause.
The vote was met with applause.
Prescott Media Center

The Prescott City Council voted on Tuesday to call for State Representative David Stringer’s resignation over racist comments he made to Arizona State University students in November.

Prescott residents could be heard applauding the resolution when it passed 6 to 1, according to a live video stream of the vote.

“Mr. Stringer’s misguided, outdated, and offensive opinions reflect poorly and inaccurately on all of us,” states the resolution, which calls for Stringer to resign before the start of the 2019 legislative session. "Our front porches don’t discriminate based on the color of someone’s skin.”

Stringer represents District 1, which comprises a large swath of Yavapai County, including Prescott, as well as a small section of north Maricopa County, including Anthem. Stringer was re-elected in November, winning 67,023 votes for one of the district's two seats.

By voting to approve the resolution, the Prescott City Council joins a string of public officials and institutions who have condemned Stringer for statements he made in audio published by Phoenix New Times on Friday.

Several officials who called for Stringer’s resignation this week — including Governor Doug Ducey, GOP Chair Jonathan Lines, and numerous Democrats — also asked the representative to step down after he made anti-immigrant remarks in June.

In the audio, Stringer can be heard telling ASU students that African-Americans “don’t blend in,” that students who don't speak English as a first language represent a “burden,” and that Somali-American children, when compared with Polish-American children, don’t look like “every other kid.”

Prescott City Councilmember Phil Goode was the sole "no" vote on Tuesday. He said he believed that the resolution fell outside the scope of responsibilities for the City Council.

"Make no mistake, I do not condone his statements or beliefs as expressed in the ASU student comments, regardless of the unethical way they were surreptitiously recorded,” Goode said.

Goode sits on the Board of Directors for the Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum, which Stringer addressed in June during a campaign event. Stringer’s comments to the Forum, including a remark that there “aren’t enough white kids to go around” in Arizona public schools, drew bipartisan condemnation.

Prescott Councilmember Alexa Scholl called Stringer’s ASU comments a “disgrace,” adding that she has had personal experiences with the state lawmaker expressing other bigoted sentiments.

Reached by phone, Scholl told New Times that the incident in question occurred during a Yavapai County Bar Association picnic in summer 2017. Scholl said she witnessed Stringer get into an altercation with a man after Stringer made a comment about a Star of David necklace worn by the man's wife.

Scholl said she did not hear the comment directly. "I chatted afterwards with the man and he was very upset about what Mr. Stringer said," she said.

Before voting for the resolution, Councilmember James Lamerson mentioned that he has a nephew who is native Hawaiian and a sister-in-law of Japanese and Filipino descent.

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