Sunday, November 28, 2021
Nov. 28, 2021

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Ridgefield candidate decries racist acts

By , Columbian Small Cities Reporter

Ridgefield City Council candidate Maria Salazar says her campaign has brought some racist vandals out of the woodwork.

Salazar, a former nurse and businesswoman who is challenging Councilor David Taylor for his Position 2 seat, said a number of her campaign signs have been defaced or knocked over this summer in what appears to be racially motivated harassment. Salazar is a longtime leader among the local Latino community.

In the most recent case last week, Salazar said it appeared that someone broke the wooden stake holding up her sign and scattered the pieces. Earlier this month, another sign was defaced with a profane slur and language suggesting Salazar is an illegal immigrant, she said.

“Over the weekend something really shook me,” Salazar wrote in a campaign statement posted on Facebook after the incident. “One of my campaign signs was defaced with the wording ‘Illegal B****.’ Now, as you can imagine, nobody would like being called that. It was apparent this derogatory and racist message was written because I am Hispanic.”

Salazar has lived in Washington since 2003, when she moved away from her home state of Texas, where she was born and raised.

Salazar recently reported the situation to the Ridgefield Police Department. An investigation is underway, but no further details on who may be responsible for the incidents are available at this time.

Despite the negative attention, Salazar said she is moving forward with her campaign.

“I am going public with this and it has not changed me from thinking what a wonderful community Ridgefield is, and wanting to serve our city and residents,” she wrote in her statement.

Salazar has made local news before, both as an advocate for the Latino community and a candidate for political office. Five years ago, she ran to fill U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s 3rd Congressional District seat, describing herself as a blue-dog Democrat running as an independent.

She dropped out three months after launching her campaign, expressing dissatisfaction with the “political climate” of the race.

Columbian Small Cities Reporter