GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter waded into controversial territory over the weekend when he wrote a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis -- a Civil Rights legend already locked in a war of words with President-elect Donald Trump -- a “racist pig.”
The reaction to Hunter, a Republican, taking on Lewis a few days before the holiday honoring the life of counterpart Martin Luther King Jr. was varied, but swift.
Hunter took down the posts and told Channel 2's Tony Thomas that they were inappropriate.
"The thought process that was going through my head when I wrote that was he just basically called me illegitimate because of how the election turned out. And I knew good and well if I said something like that it would get his attention," Hunter said.
Hunter says he was just trying to pike at Lewis, and didn't think twice about it until he began getting calls on Monday.
"I didn't mean it to be derogatory. I meant it to make him mad," Hunter said.
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A number of people posted comments on Hunter’s Facebook posts to support him. Others did the opposite.
“Mr. Hunter is a disgrace to Gwinnett County and Georgia," Gwinnett Democratic Party Chairman Gabe Okoye told Channel 2 Action News. " I call on Mr. Hunter to resign immediately. I call on all Democrats to contact Mr. Hunter with the same message.”
Hunter said that's not going to happen.
"I don't know where we go from here, but resigning is not it," he said. "We don't resign because of something somebody says."
County Chairwoman Charlotte Nash didn't want to talk about the postings.
"I'm going to choose to not add to the rhetoric at this time," she said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.
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