Two Democrat state representatives from Arizona have found themselves in a spat over one’s alleged “misogyny” and “sexism.”
Misogyny and sexism have no place in the Arizona Legislature. What [State Representative Brian Fernandez (D-Yuma)] did is wrong and not representative of our Democratic Party. We are a party where women are respected,” State Representative Alma Hernandez (D-Tucson) tweeted, attaching an open letter dated September 16 in which she aired her grievances with Fernandez.
Misogyny and sexism have no place in the Arizona Legislature. What @BrianSFernandez did is wrong and not representative of our Democratic Party. We are a party where women are respected. @azdemparty #azleg pic.twitter.com/FLLjrJiRGb
— (((Rep.Alma Hernandez))) (@almaforarizona) September 16, 2022
“Today, I have the sad duty to report that one of our own, State Representative Brian Fernandez, has seemed to embrace a very Trumpian attitude against me,” the letter said, referencing the former President. “He refers to me as a ‘fat f—‘ and that he ‘hates me’ multiple times on different occasions in public with other elected officials and lobbyists many of whom have called me to explain that they were not part of that behavior. What is most embarrassing is that he did this with Republican members thinking they would engage.”
Hernandez called the language “disgusting” and called on the leadership of the party to condemn Fernandez.
“While he will offer excuses as to why he uttered this kind of awful invective, there is nothing he can offer to justify it,” Hernandez said. “This behavior is unbecoming of a legislator and should not be condoned by Democrats.”
The party swiftly obliged Hernandez’s request.
“These alleged comments are completely unacceptable,” Arizona Democrat Party Chair Raquel Terán said via Twitter. “I am thankful that the members of our Party, like Representative Hernandez, will continue to hold our own accountable and call out inappropriate behavior.
“As Democrats we should use our voice and power to build people up not tear them down, no matter what Party they are part of,” the letter continued. “While it does not undo the harm, I’m grateful to hear that Representative Fernandez has apologized to Representative Hernandez. We commend House leadership for their swift action, we’re waiting for the outcome of the internal investigation.”
— Arizona Democratic Party (@azdemparty) September 19, 2022
For his part, Fernandez says he did not say exactly what Hernandez accused him of saying, but that he did make some “unkind statements.”
He acknowledged that he “caused hurt” and was “sincerely sorry.”
“I have the upmost [sic] respect for women and work daily, as do my fellow Democrats, to make our communities more inclusive and empowering for all people,” he said.
— Brian Fernandez (@BrianSFernandez) September 19, 2022
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Alma Hernandez” by Alma Hernandez. Photo “Brian Fernandez” by Brian S Fernandez. Background Photo “Arizona State Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.