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For more than a week, Loudoun County, Virginia’s Treasurer Roger Zurn has heard calls for his resignation after posting what he called a joke on Facebook, mocking the decision by Quaker Oats to retire its Aunt Jemima pancake brand.

Zurn has called a news conference for 11 a.m. Thursday, at the county government center, where he said he will “offer a way forward to engage the Loudoun community.

One member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Democrat Juli Briskman, and the local NAACP have called for Zurn — a Republican, who was first elected into office in 1996 — to resign.

Two other supervisors — Sylvia Glass and Koran Saines, who are Black — have said this is not the first time Zurn, who is white, has posted racially insensitive comments on social media and said he was only joking.

On June 17, Zurn posted on his personal Facebook page: “Wondering if Aunt Jemima will change to Uncle Tom’s?”

The following day, Zurn issued an apology on Facebook:

As most are aware, I did a highly inappropriate post yesterday. It was a feeble attempt at humor and realized it within five minutes and took it down. I cannot turn back the clock so I will own it and apologize for my insensitivity at a time when I can and should do better. I have learned and will be a better person for this unfortunate experience. I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended. You have a right to be upset with me. I am disappointed in myself. Sincerely, Roger Zurn

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall — a Democrat who is the first woman of color in Virginia’s history to be an elected chair of a county Board — has not commented publicly about Zurn’s post, or calls for his resignation.

Zurn has declined WTOP requests for an interview. Since his apology on Facebook, the most recent post on the social media page includes a statement from Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Sharon Sadler.

Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn cares for every resident of the county he serves. I know he is not a racist. Roger has an unassailable record of serving people of all races in an equitable manner. It is unfortunate that those on the left simply choose to attack Republicans as a matter of course. They have no regard for Roger as a person who has shown no ill will towards anyone, of any political stripe, in the work he does as Treasurer. Nevermind the hypocrisy coming from Democrats: they still stand alongside a Governor who was comfortable with pictures of people (including himself) in blackface and a klan hood on his medical school yearbook page. The fact is that county Democrats are not actually “outraged.” They just want to score points in a fraught political climate. They want more division, not unity. I support Roger Zurn and thank him for his decades of service to Loudoun County.

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Tags: aunt jemima board of supervisors facebook juli briskman koran saines neal augenstein phyllis randall roger zurn sylvia glass treasurer

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