Perhaps the comment felt harmless in the moment – after all, the 53-year-old Democrat incumbent is nearly old enough to be her 33-year-old Republican opponent’s mother.
The comment came from Rhetta Bowers, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, during a virtual fundraiser last Thursday.
Bowers’ opponent is self-described “conservative small businessman” Will Douglas. His campaign website details his journey as a “self-made pharmacy owner”, now running for political office to preserve the political freedom and economic prosperity that makes families and small businesses flourish.
“He’s said some things,” Bowers said of Douglas, “and he continues to say some things, and he’s young enough, I don’t know if he’s young enough for me to be his mama but I felt like he needed a whoopin’ the other night, when he said some things.”
Video obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation captures Bowers continuing: “And I awakened the next day feeling like, that boy needs a whippin’. And so I’m ready to do that. And I know I can’t do that without you all.”
Douglas took to Twitter in his response:
“It’s 2020. I was not expecting to be called ‘Boy’ or told I need ‘a whipping’ by anyone, much less my Democrat opponent.”
It’s reported that former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was attending the virtual fundraiser as well.
Bowers was the first African-American to represent her district in the Texas House when she won the 2018 election. Now, in her re-election campaign, she faces the younger Republican, Will Douglas.
Douglas moved to Texas after strict business regulations in New York curbed his plans to expand a pharmacy business he began when at the age of 28. According to The Dallas Morning News, Douglas voted for Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, but his experience in New York inspired him toward Republican principles of business.
“I moved here with some goals and fire in my belly and this state has given me so much,” Douglas said. “It would be incredibly selfish not to give back and to not try for Texas to stay a free market for others to realize their dreams as well.”