A set of photos shared on Twitter earlier this week appear to show Mary Ann Mendoza, a Republican candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives, in blackface and brownface, The Copper Courier reported Friday.
Two photos allegedly show Mendoza, who is running for a seat in Arizona’s 9th Legislative District, wearing blackface makeup along with an apron that reads “Aunt Jemima.”
The Aunt Jemima name and image, formerly used by Quaker Oats for its pancake mix and syrup brand, can be traced back to racial stereotypes from the 19th century.
Another photo appears to show the GOP candidate wearing brownface for a costume of historical Native American figure Pocahontas.
It’s unclear who took the photos, when they were taken or how Twitter user @Tylerhereforfun — who originally shared them in a tweet Monday — obtained them.
The Copper Courier, which first reported on the photos, wrote that Mendoza had not responded to an inquiry from the local news outlet.
HuffPost has reached out to Mendoza for comment, as well as to another Republican candidate in the district, Kathy Pearce.
Lorena Austin and Seth Blattman, their Democratic opponents for two seats in the Arizona House, wrote in a joint statement that the pictures “are a display of violent racism.”
“These photos are disgusting, hate-filled, and unfortunately part of a pattern for Mary Ann Mendoza,” the statement read, per The Copper Courier.
“This trend makes Ms. Mendoza unfit to become a legislator and represent the people of LD 9. If these photos are what they appear to be, Ms. Mendoza should withdraw her candidacy.”
Mendoza — who initially made headlines in 2014 after her son, a police officer, died in a car crash involving a drunk driver who was an immigrant — is no stranger to controversy.
In 2020, the Republican National Convention removed her from its lineup just hours after she pushed an antisemitic conspiracy theory on Twitter. She later apologized for the tweet.
“My apologies for not paying attention to the intent of the whole message,” wrote Mendoza, who has appeared alongside former President Donald Trump at several events over the years. “That does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever.”
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