After a lot of unsavory media attention, mayoral candidate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun publicly apologized to Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins Tuesday after accusing her of being "strung out on crack" during a Sunday forum.
"Patricia Watkins said she does not expect an apology from me. She is wrong," Braun said during a Tuesday news conference, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I want to apologize to her, to the congregations and members of Trinity United Church and of New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist church and all of the families and friends of those who are or who have been caught up in the tragedy of drug use. I meant no disrespect of the sanctuaries in which campaign tensions spilled over."
On Sunday afternoon, Braun was part of a candidate forum at Trinity United Church of Christ when community organizer and mayoral candidate Dr. Patricia Van Pelt Watkins criticized her.
Watkins said that Braun "hasn't been around for 20 years" and that her voice has not been heard "out there on the street." Braun responded to the comment by standing up and going off.
"Patricia, the reason you did not know where I was for the last 20 years is because you were strung out on crack," she said.
Watkins has been up front about her drug addiction throughout the campaign. She was addicted to cocaine when she was 19-years-old, but has not touched drugs or alcohol in nearly 30 years. She also never did crack, the Sun-Times reports.
U.S. Reps. Danny Davis and Bobby Rush joined Braun for her Tuesday apology, according to Early and Often.
Sunday's offensive comment was not the first made by Braun during the campaign, as HuffPost Chicago pointed out Monday. She, however, defended her temperament to a reporter:
"It's a campaign, and unfortunately campaigns get overheated," she said, according to Early and Often.
On Monday, Watkins issued a statement saying that the outburst said "a lot about [Braun's] character" and that "she is not ready to be a leader for Chicago residents."
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