In wake of controversy, Diaz calls on Morales to apologize and withdraw from the city council race
The Democratic committee was quick to mount a defense this week in the wake of the scandal surrounding their party-backed candidate Manny Morales. But as the controversy builds and threatens to detract attention from the major issues, the reputation of the citywide Democratic party has come into question.
Mayoral candidate Judge Nelson Diaz, who earlier came out as Morales’ “running mate,” requested Thursday that Morales apologize and withdraw his bid for the 7th District City Councilmember seat.
"As a former Judge, I believe everyone has a right to mount a defense and make their case before passing judgment on damning charges,” Diaz said in a statement.
“My campaign has been asking Manny Morales to offer concrete evidence that the allegations against him cannot be corroborated. We haven't received such evidence, and as a result I am asking Manny Morales to issue an apology and withdraw from this race."
The story broke Monday when incumbent 7th District Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez released screenshots of ultra-conservative Facebook posts taken allegedly from her opponent's Facebook. AL DÍA confirmed that the contents of the screenshots were not doctored. Morales responded that his account was hacked, despite that some of the racist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant posts dated back to 2010.
Rather than retracting his endorsement, Diaz has called on Morales to step away from the race in light of this controversy, citing a need to focus on the issues facing our city.
"I have spent my entire life as a dedicated advocate for civil rights, equal rights and human rights,” he said. “I would never condone or support bigotry or hatred in any form. There are important issues facing our city, and I hope that we can now focus on how to make this a city of opportunity for all."