Jay Jacobs is holding firm to his leadership role in New York’s state Democratic Party, weathering a storm of his own making when he appeared to compare a Black woman running for mayor of Buffalo to former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
Jacobs drew the comparison to India Walton when asked why he wouldn’t back the democratic socialist who upset incumbent Byron Brown in last summer’s primary.
Although he cited it was a “very different” scenario, Jacobs said he didn’t have to support Walton’s candidacy — despite being the Democratic nominee — any more than he would if Duke came to New York and won the Democratic nomination in the Rochester mayoral race.
Jacobs quickly responded to the criticism, implying his statements were “twisted” or outright ignored.
“That doesn’t make them true,” Jacobs said, according to published reports. “Read the full comments.”
That hasn’t stopped some electeds to call for Jacobs’ resignation, including state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman.
“It’s insane to equate India Walton, a Black woman, with David Duke, someone who supports the legacy of lynching Black people and the rape of Black women,” Bowman said, in a statement. “This is the malignant narcissism of far too many white men. Jay Jacobs needs to resign or be removed.”
Jacobs later followed up his initial response with an apology saying he should have used a different example than David Duke when justifying his position of not backing the Democratic nominee in a major city mayoral race.
“Using an extreme example of David Duke winning a primary to make a logical point — even with stating twice the specific qualification that India Walton was in a different category — was wrong,” he said.