Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for Florida governor, is distancing himself from an ally who’s donated thousands of dollars to his campaign after racist tweets aimed at former President Barack Obama surfaced, The Hill reports.
Steven Alembik, a Republican donor, called Obama the n-word and referred to him as a Muslim in a tweet that has since been deleted.
He was responding to a tweet by the Republican National Committee (RNC) that said, “Without a hint of irony, Obama smears President Trump’s 63 million Republican voters as divisive & resentful.”
Alembik then retweeted the RNC’s message on Sept. 8, adding, “F–k THE MUSLIM N—er,” per Politico.
“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric,” Stephen Lawson, the DeSantis campaign spokesman, told Politico.
Alembik admitted to Politico that he wrote the tweet out of anger but that it wasn’t racist.
DeSantis is facing Democrat Andrew Gillum, who’s looking to become Florida’s first Black governor, in this year’s elections, which have already been hit with claims of racism.
Following Gillum’s Democratic Primary win, DeSantis appeared on Fox News on Aug. 29 and issued a warning to Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum.
“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” DeSantis said of Gillum. “That is not going to work, that’s not going to be good for Florida, so I’m going to fight for what I believe in.”