A Michigan state Democrat apologized Thursday after calling her opponent and the rival’s campaign staff “ching-chongs” – in reference to the candidate’s Asian heritage. State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott has come under fire after she hurled anti-Asian slurs at state Rep. Stephanie Chang during the primary election last week, the Detroit Metro Times reported. Scott reportedly referred to her opponent as “ching-chang” and “ching-chong” to voters outside polling precincts. She also allegedly made other offensive comments, including telling one of Chang’s campaign volunteers “You don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country.” In addition, Sean Gray, Chang’s African-American husband, said Scott scolded him for marrying Chang.

Scott also reportedly told a voter that immigrants from China were “coming over and taking our community from us” and that it “disgusts” her to see “black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.” Chang and Scott were running against each other in the Democratic Party primary for Michigan’s 1st Senate District. Chang won the primary with nearly 50 percent of the vote. “These comments are offensive to all Asian-Americans,” Chang told Metro Times. “It isn’t about me. It’s about an elected official disrespecting entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or [Cook’s] own current House district.”

“I humbly apologize to Rep. Chang and to her husband, Mr. Gray, and to the broader Asian American community.”

– Michigan state Rep. Bettie Cook Scott