A candidate for the Illinois Senate has apologized for a decade-old photo from a Halloween party that depicts him dressed in blackface as a rapper.
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton tells The Belleville News-Democrat that most rappers at the time were black and he didn't intend the costume to be racist. Patton says he regrets the outfit and apologizes to those it offends.
The newspaper says it obtained the photo from Democratic sources. Patton wanted to be the Republican nominee for the Senate seat but was kicked off the primary ballot because he'd signed re-election petitions for a local Democrat. He's now running as a third-party candidate.
Patton says the disclosure of the photo is an attempt to damage his campaign.
Democrat Rachelle Aud Crowe is also running for the seat. The local prosecutor says she'd heard rumors of the photo but didn't try to obtain it.
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