Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
The bizarre, racist behavior from congressional candidate Abby Broyles has forced a response from the Oklahoma Democratic Party. A Feb. 17 news report blasted Broyles for getting drunk and spewing racial profanity at a slumber party for tween girls on Feb. 11.
On Monday, Feb. 21, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairwoman Alicia Andrews asked for help finding candidates for office but stopped short of calling for Abby Broyles to step down as the Democratic nominee for the state’s 5th Congressional District.
“There are candidates who self-identify. There are candidates who don’t call me and tell me that they’re running…This is the Democratic party. We don’t stop people from running. That’s not what we do,” ODP Chair Alicia Andrews said in Monday’s live video.
“I ask that you find me a candidate that you can support,” she added, lamenting the focus Abby Broyles’ actions has brought to one race. “I wanna be very clear. The Democratic Party does not support, condone, approve of or have tolerance for racism. Nor do we approve of misogyny. What strikes me is that Democrats this weekend fell for the culture war that Republicans are trying to lob.”
I would have called Abby Broyles out on her privilege for having the audacity to think she could stay in the race after the way she treated those little girls. I would have told her to step down. But agree that we should be looking for another candidate to replace her. pic.twitter.com/ed23MYk1Kf
— Nehemiah D. Frank (@nehemiahdfrank) February 21, 2022
ODP Chair falls short of calling for Abby Broyles to step down
While many expected ODP Chair Andrews to directly call for Abby Broyles to step down, she instead called on Democrats to help her find candidates up and down the ballot.
Andrews said she was disappointed that folks focused on the racial aspect of the slur rather than the fact that little girls in general were verbally abused.
“The Democratic Party is not just this chick,” Andrews continued. “If you have a candidate under your ballot that you can’t support that is running under the Democratic banner, the answer isn’t for one person to say that person has to go. The answer is for the collective to find a candidate that people can support.”
The public condemnation came after NonDoc released a visceral report detailing a slumber party on Feb. 11 that turned tragic for a group of little girls after a drunken Abby Broyles began berating them.
A Deer Creek Public Schools parent invited Broyles to her home while a group of 12 and 13 year-old-girls were having a sleepover. Throughout the night, Broyles became drunk on wine and allegedly called one girl an “acne fucker.” She also called a girl a “hispanic fucker” and referred to another as a “judgy fucker,” according to NonDoc, which broke the story on Thursday, Feb. 17.
Vomiting, slurs, threats, and lies
Traumatizing the group of tweens, Broyles became so drunk that she allegedly vomited into a laundry basket and onto a girl’s shoes. In a news interview, she deflected blame for her actions, saying it was caused by a sleep medication her friend gave her that adversely reacted with the wine she’d been drinking.
“And she gave me a medication I had never taken before. And I had an adverse reaction. Instead of helping me sleep, I hallucinated. And I don’t remember anything until I woke up or came to, and I was throwing up in a hamper,” Broyles told KFOR on Friday.
— Tara Blume (@tcblume) February 18, 2022
While calls for Broyles to step down began almost immediately after the news broke on Feb. 17, Broyles at first refused to take responsibility. Broyles, who is a former TV reporter educated in law, threatened to sue NonDoc if they published the initial story. She also lied to the media outlet about whether she was in attendance on the night of the incident.
A day later, in a televised interview with her former station KFOR in Oklahoma City, Broyles admitted she was there and blamed pills for her behavior.
Picked up and shared by reporters, the initial statement from Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews on Feb. 18 was seen by many as insufficient.
ODP Chair’s initial response
“I cannot condone or say that this is OK talking the way she talked to preteens, but what I can say is that I have been watching Abby run a non-profit and start her law career all in a span of 3 years and I don’t speak for her, what I do know is this is a lesson,” Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairwoman Alicia Andrews wrote in a statement to NonDoc on Feb. 18. “All I can say is this is a cautionary tale that we all need to take time for ourselves. We need to start taking time and recharge our batteries before it shows externally.”
When asked whether Abby Broyles should remain the Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District, Andrews said the party would “not get in her way.”
Hours after the release of that statement on Friday, Broyles spoke to KFOR in a televised interview.
“First of all, I want to apologize to the families again, and for people who say I just blacked out and I’m making this up, you don’t know me,” Broyles said. “I would never ever say anything hurtful. I’ve never, ever would say something hurtful like those things. And that’s why I know I was not in my right mind. I know that that’s what happened because of that combination of things. And I deeply, deeply regret it.”
Caught in a lie, Broyles remains a candidate
Adding to the absurdity of the situation, Broyles’ own former colleagues at KFOR were forced to fact check her when she claimed she never told NonDoc she wasn’t at the home on Feb. 11.
KFOR immediately reached out to NonDoc for clarification. In turn, NonDoc reporters shared audio of their interview with Abby Broyles, forcing KFOR to report that Broyles did in fact lie to NonDoc about being in attendance.
Order of events:
1) Abby Broyles emphatically denied attending this party.
2) She threatened to sue if we reported this story.
3) Today, she went on TV and admitted attending the party, but claimed she never denied it to me.
4) I played KFOR the audio. ?https://t.co/08L8JhfnVg
— Tres Savage (@ThriceSavage) February 19, 2022
Nevertheless, Broyles declined to say she would step down as the party’s candidate.
“I deeply regret what happened because of the people who it affected. I’ll be okay no matter what happens, but as far as this campaign, I’m never going to stop fighting for Oklahomans, whether it’s in this race or fighting for the cause some other way,” Broyles said on Friday.
Now, as her sullied campaign threatens the reputation of the state Democratic Party, Chair Alicia Andrews made it clear on Monday that the party is open to other candidates. Yet, Andrews didn’t directly call for Broyles to step down as many were expecting.
Democrats seek new candidates after lackluster response to Abby Broyles
“Complaining about the candidates we have doesn’t get a Democrat elected,” Andrews said on Monday. “Walking away from the Democratic Party because of what one person did does not get a Democrat elected. What gets a Democrat elected is qualified candidates that we can all get behind.”
Meanwhile, she pivoted in her speech to the fact that no Democrat has come out to run against current appointed Attorney General John O’Connor, a man who labels Black Lives Matter supporters as rioting thugs and who has spearheaded the executions of four men in less than a year.
Yet, for her part, one parent expressed their immense disappointment with Abby Broyles, who has now both verbally championed the rights of women and verbally assaulted a group of young girls.
“It’s so sad, because this is someone who has stood on a soap box and talked about empowering women, and rather than do that with these girls she chose to belittle and denigrate the next generation of women,” Sarah Matthews told NonDoc. “And she does this at a time when their bodies are changing and their features are changing and they are vulnerable.”
Moving forward, it’s unclear whether Broyles will step down. With the Democratic Party calling on voters to help them find new candidates, it doesn’t appear that Republican Congresswoman Stephanie Bice will face steep competition for the 5th Congressional seat.
“I am but one person. This is not Alicia land. This is the Oklahoma Democratic Party. So I am once again continuing my search for candidates up and down the ballot. I’m asking for your help to help me find a candidate that you can support,” ODP Chair Alicia Andrews said.