SARATOGA SPRINGS – The winner of the commissioner of accounts race apologized for using a medically outdated term about a person’s mental development, a term that many people find offensive.
In a video posted on Facebook by the conservative group, Moving Saratoga Forward, an unidentified man encounters an admittedly intoxicated Dillon Moran on a street after the polls closed on election night last week.
The man asks Moran, a Democrat, how he felt about President Joe Biden’s performance.
Moran responded with irreverence, stating the commander in chief’s performance had nothing to do with either of their lives.
The unidentified man then points out the “incredibly high” price of gasoline, to which Moran states, “Are you (bleeping) retarded?”
In the video, Moran apologized and explained that he was drunk. Moran told the man presidents have nothing to do with the price of goods.
Moran then stated, “The world is not that hateful. The right answer is we care about each other.”
Moran, who appeared to stagger throughout the video, then told the man that he didn’t “give a (bleep) about your party. I care about your personal experience, and that’s why I’m running for office.”
In a statement Moran posted to Facebook subsequent to the encounter, he said:
“After winning the Commissioner of Accounts race on Tuesday evening, I let my guard down. I was walking home from an election night celebration with my dad, who had come up from his home in Mexico.
“We were approached by someone who secretly videotaped our encounter. I was altered — thus the reason for walking home — and the video is now being used to cast me in a negative light. I should have known better.
“I apologize for the use of the ‘r’ word, though a common term of my youth, it has no place in our current vernacular nor from a newly elected councilman. Lesson learned — after 8 months of campaigning, asking for and winning the trust of Saratoga Springs’ voters, your faith in me is much more important than a hit piece designed to undermine that trust. It won’t happen again.”
Pat Tuz, chairwoman of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee, said Tuesday she hadn’t seen the video, but heard about it.
“I think that he was a little bit exuberant, probably because he spent the past eight months planning and devoting himself to running for office,” Tuz said, while acknowledging the use of the word “retard” was inappropriate.
“I know how hard he worked as a candidate, and I know how good he will be once in office,” Tuz said. “So I kind of tend to overlook stuff like this, especially if he takes ownership of it, which he did and apologized. We’ll move on from there.”
On the national political scene, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been rebuked for using the term.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer apologized for calling children with intellectual disabilities “retarded” after the New York Democrat received criticism.
Former President Donald Trump was angry about poor polling numbers in early 2020 and lashed out at White House staff by asking how he could be losing to a “mental retard,” a reference to President Joe Biden when the Democratic was a candidate, according to reports.
In 2019, then U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California apologized after a man attending a town hall called then-President Trump’s actions “mentally retarded” and she responded with a chuckle. Harris is the current vice president.
In the Spa City, Moran’s race has been attention-grabbing ever since he questioned the authenticity of petition signatures his Republican opponent, Samantha Guerra, submitted to the Saratoga County Board of Elections.
Moran’s accusation led to Guerra being charged by state police late last week.
Moran is set to replace City Accounts Commissioner John Franck, a Democrat who didn’t seek a ninth term.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.