According to The Daily Beast, Republican Senate Candidate Corey Stewart’s spokesperson, Rick Shaftan, referred to majority-black cities as “S**tholes.” Shaftan also warned businesses not to open new stores in majority-black neighborhoods.
Currently running as the GOP Senate candidate in Virginia, Corey Stewart has alienated himself from a significant portion of the Republican party by refusing to condemn white supremacist groups and associating himself with neo-Confederates.
Serving as Stewart’s communications director, Shaftan has a history of making racially charged comments on Twitter. In the aftermath of Ferguson in 2014, in which a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Shaftan tweeted, “Crazed black people looting a liquor store is the ultimate racist stereotype,” adding that after the unrest and protests in Ferguson, “only a fool would start, finance or insure a business in a black neighborhood.”
After a similar situation occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, Shaftan took to Twitter to reiterate his previous remark, tweeting, “The message out of Ferguson and Baltimore is a simple one: DON’T OPEN A BUSINESS IN A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD!”
Shaftan tweeted similar sentiments all the way back in 2011 after an unspecific robbery, writing, “Another reason why white people (and Asians and Latinos) don’t want to live with black people.” In addition, Shaftan referred to the NAACP as the “Black KKK” on more than one occasion.
Even more recently, Shaftan retweeted an article about a Confederate statue being replaced by a Harriet Tubman memorial in Baltimore this year, captioning it with, “The word #S**thole is an appropriate one to describe this particular s**thole.”
Shaftan also worked for a political action committee, which supported Wisconsin GOP House candidate Paul Nehlen, who is known for the graphic, anti-semitic images and content he posted in 2017. “I was with a super PAC [America Speaks PAC] back in 2016 where we boosted Nehlen,” Shaftan commented. “There was no sign he was anything other than a Trump guy, pretty much. I made an ad for him, I think in November, before he went wacko.”
According to FEC filings, however, the super PAC America Speaks gave Shaftan’s company nearly $25,000 to produce and distribute pro-Nehlen campaign ads.
Aside from Shaftan, another staffer volunteering for Stewart’s campaign was involved in the planning of a second alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, despite last year’s fatality. Additionally, other employees and staffers of Stewart and his campaign have had connections to the American Nazi Party and various white supremacist websites.