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Saline County Commissioner Jim Gile (R) used the term “n!gger rigging” when discussing hiring an architect to work on a local building. Although Gile has apologized, he refuses to leave his position.
From the Salina Journal:
In a recording made by County Clerk Don Merriman of the study session, Gile, who is white, can be heard to say the county needed to hire an architect to design the improvements rather than “n!gger-rigging it.”
His comment brought laughter from others in the room. Salinan Ray Hruska, who attends most commission meetings and study sessions, asked Gile what he said.
“Afro-Americanized,” Gile replied.
“He’s like that congressman from Alaska,” Commission Chairman Randy Duncan can be heard to say of Gile’s comment.
Gile says that he made a mistake when he used the term and intended to say “jury-rigged”, which makes even less sense because “jury rigged” has a totally different meaning than “n!gger rigged.”
“I am not a prejudiced person,” Gile told the Salina Journal. “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.”
Gile apologized for his comment prior to a Tuesday commission meeting. Understandably, Democrats in the area are questioning on whether Gile should resign from office.
Kansas Democratic Party spokesman Dakota Loomis thinks that Gile may not be fit to serve. .
“It’s shocking in this day and age that he would use this type of language and find it to be such a non-issue,” Loomis said. “He needs to take a real hard look at how he represents the people in Saline County. This demonstrates a complete and utter lack of awareness. It calls into question his fitness to serve.”