BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Republican candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he made on social media in 2020 is anti-Semitic.
Dan Johnson of Laurel, who is running to represent part of Northwest Washington in the House, posted a meme on Facebook that featured a yellow Star of David with the words, “A new badge has been created that will allow you to return to work. , travel in the state of it, fly, take a train or a bus, and buy and sell,” The Bellingham Herald reported.
“I inappropriately compared the pandemic mandates to the Nazis’ treatment of the Jewish people,” Johnson wrote on his Facebook campaign page Tuesday, adding that he was deeply frustrated at the time by the governor’s mandates. “Looking back, the post trivialized the darkest moment in human history and that does not reflect my values.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has ordered businesses to close, among other measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Johnson posted on Facebook Tuesday after a Sunday story in The Bellingham Herald examined his social media from nearly 10 years ago. Much of his online presence was publicly available, but has since been removed.
Johnson did not respond to questions from the newspaper about the posts, which the paper said included sexist memes, misinformation about COVID-19 and apparent support for anti-government militants, as well as the violent ousting of elected officials.
His statement on Tuesday read: “If I have ever said anything that offended another (and I am sure I did), or caused anyone pain, I am sorry.”
Several of his Facebook posts have been flagged by the social network as false, partially false or misleading, the newspaper said.
Johnson placed second in the Aug. 2 primary and faces Democrat Joe Timmons of Bellingham in the Nov. 8 general election. Timmons told the newspaper that Johnson’s memes and recordings were offensive.
“I believe that candidates and elected officials should lead by example and that voters have a right to know the true values and opinions of those they choose to represent them,” Timmons said previously.
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