Arizona Republicans are running to the defense of a State House nominee Mary Ann Mendoza who has been accused of wearing blackface and brownface in two different pictures, according to The Copper Courier. Mendoza has not commented on the authenticity of the photos.
One of the pictures allegedly showed Mendoza at a Halloween party in blackface as Aunt Jemima and another in brownface for a costume depicting the Native American figure Pocahontas. It’s not clear who took the pictures and when they happened. Mendoza identifies herself as an “anti-illegal immigration” candidate for the state House in Arizona’s 9th District. Her police officer son was tragically killed by an undocumented drunken driver.
Mendoza appeared as one of former President Trump’s “angel moms’ used to justify his hard-line immigration policies. However, Mendoza felt out of favor with the Republican party when she retweeted an anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy and was dropped from the Republican National Convention lineup. The State House candidate apologized and said she “retweeted a very long thread earlier without reading every post within the thread.”
Democratic candidates Seth Blattman and Lorena Austin released a joint statement blasting the photographs. According to them, this is another instance of bigotry from Mendoza.
From NBC 12 News:
“If these photos are what they appear to be, Ms. Mendoza should withdraw her candidacy, and we are calling on her running mate, Kathy Pearce, to condemn this behavior and agree it disqualifies Ms. Mendoza from public office.”
Of course, some of Mendoza’s Republican colleagues came to her defense, like U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko, (R) Arizona.
Lesko’s emailed statement to ABC15 said, “Instead of focusing on decade-old Halloween photos posted by liberal opponents right before an election, voters care about a secure border and common sense policies that will keep Arizona strong. That is what voters will get with Mary Ann Mendoza.”
A friend of Mendoza’s and former congressional candidate Kathleen Winn told ABC 15, “Whatever makeup she wore is no worse than drag queen’s.” These are not the same things, and putting on makeup for drag is not even remotely close to racially offensive costumes.