Local Candidate Asked to Withdraw From Race Over Facebook Posts

A candidate for the planning board election in Walpole, Massachusetts, is being asked to withdraw from the race due to controversial posts on his Facebook page.

In one of the posts, George Hodges wrote, "If there's a rag on your head. You want Americans dead."

Another post reads, in part, "My theory on a day without woman [sic]. First of all, most woman [sic] won't participate. The ones that do are on or need meds. Or they need a good.......u know what. But they're to bugly to git any [sic]."

The Massachusetts Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calls the posts misogynistic and Islamophobic.

"It's deeply hurtful and troubling when you have someone who is running for elected office would make such hateful comments towards women and Muslims," said CAIR Executive Director John Robins.

The group's now urging Hodges to withdraw from the election.

"These are comments that are not befitting of anyone running for elected office and really drawn to question whether he would serve Muslim constituents," Robbins added.

Hodges acknowledges the words are harsh, but he says said he didn't mean any harm. He says the posts are actually lyrics to songs he had written and were taken out of context.

"The verse is, 'you put a rag on your head you make American's dead.' Then it goes on to say, 'but your boots are in the sand, now tore a fighting man,'" Hodges said. "It's about the struggle with ISIS in Syria, where my heritage is."

Hodges said he has been a musician since he was a child.

"For somebody to go to this extent to try and make me look bad over something that wasn't intended to be anything bad," he said. "It was merely me expressing myself through my art which is writing songs."

Hodges is running against Sarah Khatib, a Muslim woman. Hodges says he will not drop out of the race. The planning board election is scheduled for Saturday.

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