UPDATE: The Washington Examiner is reporting that Gary O'Connor has resigned as chair of the Lamar County Democrat Party. O'Connor confirmed to The Paris News that he has offered his resignation. There was no further comment.
Freshman Republican Congressman Pat Fallon on Friday called for the resignation and censure of Lamar County Democrat Party chair Gary O’Connor after O’Connor used a racial slur in a Facebook post discussing Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal Wednesday to President Joseph Biden.
“I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an oreo with no real principles,” O’Connor wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post.
Fallon described the post as “abhorrent, insulting and unforgivable.”
“Both he and the entire Lamar County Democratic Party should be ashamed of this racist behavior. O’Connor must apologize and step down immediately. Additionally, I call on both the Democratic Party of Texas and the NAACP to condemn these words, and the state party should take swift action to censure him. This kind of behavior is not tolerable in Texas, the United States, or any political party,” Fallon said.
Prior to deleting the post, O’Connor said “oreo” was a frequently used word during his time in college.
Local activist Brenda Cherry defended O’Connor on Facebook as well, citing his history of speaking out against racism.
“There was a conversation started by Gary O Connor regarding Tim Scott the one Black Republican in the Senate who got on his knees in defense of white racists. Gary O Connor said he was an Oreo and while O Connor should leave terms like that alone, I have never seen him support racism like some of the people who attacked him have,” Cherry wrote.
Larry Vandiver also came to O’Connor’s defense, saying the local party chairman “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”
“I’ve seen him call out the racism and bigotry that exists in this country many times. He’s being attacked only because he’s the Democrat Party Chairman of Lamar County,” Vandiver wrote. “Go try to run your confederate flag up some other flagpole.”
Some respondents to O’Connor’s post prior to its deletion compared the situation to what happened with former Paris city councilman Benny Plata in May and June 2020. Plata had responded to a person’s Facebook post regarding an article about actor Nick Cannon, saying: “Why don’t you leave American if it is so bad.” Upon that post coming to light, the Paris City Council censured Plata and Plata resigned his District 3 seat.
Attempts to contact the Texas Democratic Party for comment were unsuccessful.