Delaware State Rep Who Used Anti-Asian Slur Says He Betrayed Voters, Won't Seek Reelection

A Delaware state representative said he will not seek reelection after his current term expires because he betrayed voters' faith after using a racist and sexist slur in referring to sex workers.

Representative Gerald Brady of Wilmington, executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO, issued a statement Monday in response to a public backlash and calls for his resignation. "I cannot in good conscience ask the voters to put their faith in me again after I betrayed theirs," he said.

Brady used an anti-Asian slur to refer to Chinese women in an email that he inadvertently sent on June 27 to someone advocating the decriminalization of prostitution. Rather than using the forwarding function to send the email to another person he sought input from, Brady mistakenly replied to the writer of the original email.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Stop Asian Hate sign
Delaware state Representative Gerald Brady will not seek reelection once his current term expires, saying he betrayed the faith of voters by using an anti-Asian slur in an email to refer to Chinese women. Above, a sign posted on a fence reads "Stop Asian Hate." Getty Images

"Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??" Brady wrote from his official government email address.

Democrat House leaders directed Brady last week to complete sensitivity training and reach out to members of the Asian-American community in an effort to regain their trust. But they indicated in their own statement Monday that they are not interested in initiating disciplinary proceedings that could lead to Brady's suspension or expulsion from the House.

"We want to be clear about something we have heard from residents this past week: As a duly elected official, only Rep. Brady can make a decision about his political future. House leadership cannot unilaterally take action," House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Majority Whip Larry Mitchell said in a joint statement.

That's not true, however.

Schwartzkopf, Longhurst and Mitchell are members of the House Ethics Committee, which is chaired by Longhurst and includes Republican Minority Leader Danny Short and minority whip Tim Dukes. House rules authorize the committee to investigate complaints that a lawmaker has violated the rules of legislative conduct.

Among the rules of legislative conduct: "A member shall not engage in conduct which the House determines (i) brings the House into disrepute or (ii) reflects adversely on the member's fitness to hold legislative office."

Ethics Committee rules state that any House member, including any member of the committee, can file a complaint. If a majority of the committee decides that the complaint has been proven, the committee can then, again by majority vote, recommend that the House take "appropriate action," up to and including expulsion of the offending lawmaker.

Despite describing Brady's remarks as "reprehensible, racist, sexist and indefensible," Democratic leaders indicated that, instead of an Ethics Committee investigation, they would make sensitivity training available to all members of the House.

"While we do not believe our colleagues harbor such views, it would be beneficial for them to learn of any microaggressions or other attitudes or actions that negatively impact the Asian American community, and how we all can take steps to improve our relationships with the community," they said.

Chuck Schumer speaks on anti-Asian hate
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters about anti-Asian-hate legislation on April 20. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images