The Kentucky Democratic Party has called on a party candidate for county judge-executive to apologize after he ran an ad that appears to depict lynching.
Spencer County candidate Bobby Smith ran the ad this week in the Spencer Magnet, a local weekly publication, that shows what appear to be four silhouetted bodies hanging from a tree, with each body helping spell out the phrase "Good Ol' Boy System."
Business and industry sectors
Business, economy and trade
Government and public administration
Marketing and advertising
US Democratic Party
US political parties
Continents and regions
Crime, law enforcement and corrections
Crimes against persons
Elections and campaigns
Southeastern United States
Violence in society
Along with the image, the ad reads, "Some HARD choices need to be made to make Spencer County great again. I will make those choices."
The Kentucky Democratic Party said in a tweet Thursday morning that it "finds this ad to be offensive and appalling given its imagery."
"There is no defense for making light of lynching. Mr. Smith should rescind it and apologize immediately," it said.
Smith told CNN in a phone interview Friday that he is not racist and "not sorry about my position, but I'm sorry if they were offended by me."
Asked by CNN if he stands by the ad, Smith said, "I don't know that I would appreciate stirring up as much an issue as it seems to have."
Smith said he did not intend to make light of lynching, but rather his "intention is to legally hang the 'good ol' boy' system" symbolically.
"People stand by and let injustices happen," Smith told CNN, adding, "There are things that go on every day that are not right."
Smith will face Republican incumbent John Riley in the general election in November.
- Kentucky Democratic candidate condemned by party for 'lynching' ad
- Democratic candidate turns #MeToo experience into TV ad
- Radio ad in Arkansas House race says 'white Democrats will be lynching black folk again'
- Jessica Lynch Fast Facts
- Loretta Lynch Fast Facts
- Kentucky Democrat says she's pulling ads from Sinclair station, calls for boycott
- Hear candidate's 'stomp your face' campaign ad
- A leading candidate in Indiana's GOP primary was considered a 'hard Democrat' by his own party
- Kentucky GOP candidate sorry for suggesting he'd shoot Dem congressman
- Lawmakers condemn Trump's 'shithole' remark