West

By Melanie Eversley

Black leaders in Seattle are calling for mayoral candidate M. Lorena Gonzalez to pull an ad that they say portrays her campaign opponent, Bruce Harrell, in a racist light.

Harrell is of mixed Black and Japanese descent.

The pro-Gonzalez ad in question juxtaposes images of Harrell with news accounts of a sex abuse scandal involving ex-Mayor Ed Murray. At the end of the ad, a white rape survivor says she could never vote for Harrell, the Seattle Times reports. 

Former Seattle NAACP president and Gonzalez donor James Bible called the ad “a race to the bottom.” Another critic said the ad tapped into racist societal fears of Black men.

Gonzalez declined to pull the ad, saying in a statement, “Bruce Harrell has a troubling history of discrediting survivors of abuse and harassment.”

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