Key Point: "Silva told his fellow Republicans Oct. 10 that Mangipudi would likely benefit from a large turnout of Indian voters, saying “they’ll be coming out of the woodwork” on Election Day....'I thought I was in New Delhi,' he said... Attempts Friday by Nashua Patch to reach Silva, Nashua GOP city committee chair Andrew Cernota and state GOP chair Jennifer Horn Friday have so far been unsuccessful."
Nashua Patch: Mangipudi Reacts to Opponent Pete Silva's 'New Delhi' Comment
Republican Pete Silva stands by his public comments, which Democrats say warrant a public apology.
Those who know Pete Silva know him to be someone who speaks his mind, and is not a fan of what he calls "political correctness" in life, or in politics.
That straight-shooter philosophy may be backfiring.
A story in the Oct. 18 Nashua Telegraph has the former Republican state rep and Majority House Leader on the record defending a comment he admits to making publicly during the Oct. 10 Nashua Area Republican Committee meeting, in reference to his opponent, Latha Mangipudi, who is of Indian descent.
Silva and Mangipudi are on the ballot as opponents in the Ward 8 State Rep race , after Langipudi won the special Democratic primary election in September.
Silva told his fellow Republicans Oct. 10 that Mangipudi would likely benefit from a large turnout of Indian voters, saying “they’ll be coming out of the woodwork” on Election Day.
According to the story by Telegraph reporter Dean Shaloup, "Silva referenced the Sept. 17 primary, in which Mangipudi and Carl Andrade faced off for the Democratic nomination. 'I thought I was in New Delhi,' he said, emphasizing the large turnout of Indian voters at the ward polling place, Bicentennial Elementary School."
Attempts Friday by Nashua Patch to reach Silva, Nashua GOP city committee chair Andrew Cernota and state GOP chair Jennifer Horn Friday have so far been unsuccessful.
However, Mangipudi said she was "saddened" to hear about Silva's comments, and shocked that he would make such a statement about a community she knows to be quite diverse.
"It saddens me to see this," Mangipudi said of the Telegraph story. "Ward 8 is not 'New Delhi' – this is 21st century America. I have worked in all the community organizations here, and it's an integrated community celebrating diversity."
She said given the percentage of registered voters in Ward 8 who are listed as of Indian/Asian descent, Silva's comments is are not only inaccurate, but simply off base.
"I've worked for the full community, not just representing the Indian community. I'm American. My kids are born here. This is my home, our home. There is no room for this kind of talk. It just saddens me," Mangipudi said Friday.
She said the number of registered voters of Asian/Indian descent in Ward 8 is less than 200, and even if 10 percent of the Ward turns out to vote, that is still a small percentage of voters.
"I want to ask voters in Ward 8 what kind of voice do they want to be representing them in Concord; someone who understands the voter base, or someone who has his own agenda," Mangipudi said.
New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein issued the following statement on Silva's comments:
"Mr. Silva owes all Nashua City residents an apology for his rude and inappropriate comment. Clearly there is no disgusting low Silva won’t sink to in this desperate scheme to return his reckless and irresponsible ideology to Concord. This is the very same offensive and nasty rhetoric voters rejected last fall, when they sent Silva, Bill O’Brien and their Tea Party pals packing.
"The only thing more outrageous and shameful than Silva’s slur is that in a room full of New Hampshire Republicans not one of them objected, or has called on him to apologize. Does the NHGOP really condone this kind of language, will they still be supporting Silva’s candidacy? While Republicans in other states have tried to rebrand and etch-a-sketch away their more out of touch candidates, with candidates Pete Silva the NHGOP continues to be the face and voice of the Tea Party and radical fringe."
When asked by Shaloup about his comments, Silva said they were meant to rally Republicans to the polls, on Nov. 5: “What I said is true. I can understand being criticized if I said something derogatory. If what I said is considered derogatory, then I think we should live in plastic bubbles,” he said, according to the Telegraph.