Report: State Rep. Might Resign Over "Buckwheat" Comment - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Report: State Rep. Might Resign Over "Buckwheat" Comment

State Rep. Carla Dartez State Rep. Carla Dartez

Louisiana State Representative Carla Dartez is considering resigning after allegedly referring to the mother of an NAACP president as "Buckwheat," a Houma newspaper reported Friday.

Jerome Boykin, President of Morgan City's NAACP, told WAFB 9NEWS that Dartez was speaking by phone with his mother to thank his mother for her help with Dartez's re-election bid. That help included volunteering to drive voters to the polls during the October 20th primary. Boykin says Dartez ended that conversation by telling his mother, "Talk to you later, Buckwheat."  Boykin says he considers that to be a racial slur.

Boykin, who supported Dartez's re-election bid in October, says he has now informed Dartez he is no longer supporting her. "I will do everything in my power to see that she's not re-elected," Boykin told WAFB 9NEWS. Dartez, a Democrat, received 44% of the vote in October, and faces a November 17th runoff against Republican Joe Harrison, who received 36% of the primary vote.

Boykin says, after his mother told him about the conversation, he called Dartez and she acknowledged she had used the "Buckwheat" reference. He says Dartez started to cry and apologized.  "She said she'd gone to Walmart a couple of days ago and bought an Eddie Murphy tape and that's what they said on the tape." He says Dartez indicated she did not realize that the term could be interpreted as a racial slur.

"I take it as a racial statement," Boykin said. "I feel that if she was talking to a Caucasian woman, she wouldn't have said this."

Dartez did not return a phone message WAFB 9NEWS left at her office Friday afternoon. There was no answer on her home telephone. The Daily Comet, a Houma newspaper, reported Friday that Dartez was mulling over withdrawing from the race.

In September, Dartez was cited for improper lane usage after hitting a pedestrian with her car.  That same month, her husband was arrested for federal agents on charges that he employed and harbored illegal aliens.  Lenny Dartez insisted he was innocent of those charges.

Dartez represents House District 51 which covers parts of Assumption, St. Mary, and Terrebonne parishes.

Reporter:  Robb Hays, WAFB.COM

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