Maricopa County attorney candidate apologizes for using racial slur

Robert McWhirter

By Lauren Castle | Arizona Republic

A Democratic candidate running for Maricopa County attorney apologized during a recent forum for using a racial slur while teaching a legal class in 2018.

Several advocacy groups, including Black Lives Matter Metro Phoenix, Mass Liberation Project Arizona, LUCHA, Trans Queer Pueblo and Poder in Action, hosted thevirtual forum on Zoom. Viewers were invited to ask questions and post comments.

Related: Scottsdale Councilman Apologizes to George Floyd’s Family for Mocking ‘I Can’t Breathe

After an attorney brought up the incident in the Zoom comments, Robert McWhirter, a defense attorney, was asked to address what happened.

McWhirter is running against Julie Gunnigle and Will Knight in the Democratic primary in August. The winner will run against current County Attorney Allister Adel in November. 

A Black Lives Matter Metro Phoenix spokesperson, Maricopa County public defender Jamaar Williams, is a campaign organizer for Knight’s campaign. The campaign told The Arizona Republic that Williams had no involvement with the forum and no other staff member has a leadership position with the organizations. 

Mass Liberation Project Arizona moderated the event. The organization did not respond to The Republic’s multiple requests for an interview. 

What did McWhirter say?

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