Carla Spalding is a candidate seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Spalding, 49, hasn’t been shy in letting voters know that being the only Black candidate running under the GOP gives her an advantage in their primary contest.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Spalding, who was born in Jamaica, said during an appearance at a monthly meeting of the Americans for Trump-Broward that primary voters need to pick a candidate who “can get through the general election, and I’m the only one that can get through the general.”
She followed this saying she has the ability to pull over some Black and brown voters from Wasserman Schultz based on her own influence as a Black woman.
“They are not going to vote for an old white man in the certain communities. That’s a fact,” Spalding told the audience, eliciting gasps and possibly a few clutched pearls.
Joe Budd, president of Palm Beach County’s Trump Club, was present at the Broward group’s meeting and fired back calling the candidate a racist.
Budd said Spalding’s remark was “absolutely out of line. It’s a discriminatory racist comment. When I heard her say that, I was just shocked.”
To clarify, Budd is calling the “old white man” statement racist, not the assertion that she can garner votes just because she’s Black – a common statement hurled at Black voters by Black Republicans.
Spalding’s opponents are Joe Kaufman, who is white, and Carlos Reyes, 59, who is Latino. Joe Budd, the president of Palm Beach County’s Trump Club, was aghast at the statement.
“I think the voters will decide, but if she’s going to blow up like that in the primary, she’s going to blow up in the general [election campaign] as well,” Budd said.
Hilda Ramirez-Gainza, a Fort Lauderdale Republican, shared similar outrage at Spalding’s statement.
“I thought it was reverse racism,” Gainza said to the Sun-Sentinel. “I thought it was horrible for her to say that,” she added. “In my opinion, she’s buried her campaign by saying that.”
The Florida Primary is scheduled for August 28 and it will be interesting to see if Spalding can bounce back from this potentially campaign crushing faux pas.