(TargetLiberty.org) – Several leading Republicans in North Dakota are urging State Representative Nico Rios to step down following his alleged use of homophobic and xenophobic language during a DUI arrest earlier in December.
Rios, a Republican, was apprehended on December 15th for erratic driving and subsequently charged with drunk driving, as reported by The Associated Press. The incident has prompted calls for his resignation, notably from Republican state House Majority Leader Mike Lefor. Citing the arresting officer’s account, Lefor highlighted that Rios was reported to have been “verbally abusive, homophobic, racially abusive and discriminatory” during the encounter.
Lefor emphasized in a statement that such behavior is intolerable within the legislature and the Republican Party. He acknowledged that while people make mistakes, Rios’s conduct and resistance to law enforcement were especially egregious. Lefor also condemned any attempt by a lawmaker to exploit their position to intimidate others or evade the law.
Sandi Sanford, Chair of the North Dakota Republican Party, mirrored Lefor’s sentiments, expressing disappointment in Rios’s actions and words. She noted that they fall below the standards of decency expected from community representatives and violate core Republican values by endangering public safety and disrespecting law enforcement.
Rios has since acknowledged his behavior as unacceptable, offering an apology and a commitment to ensure such an incident does not recur. In a post on a social media platform, he vowed to support law enforcement and expressed remorse for his actions.
The Associated Press obtained police body camera footage that reportedly shows Rios using offensive language against the arresting officer, including homophobic slurs and anti-migrant remarks. He also allegedly threatened to involve the North Dakota attorney general and warned the officers of consequences for their actions.
Rios, who works in the oil field industry, was elected in 2022 to North Dakota’s House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a significant majority. He now faces misdemeanor charges for drunk driving and refusing a chemical test.
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