Democrat apologizes after hurling anti-Asian slurs at her opponent

A Michigan state Democrat apologized Thursday after calling her opponent and the rival's campaign staff “ching-chongs” – in reference to the candidate’s Asian heritage.

State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott has come under fire after she hurled anti-Asian slurs at state Rep. Stephanie Chang during the primary election last week, the Detroit Metro Times reported.

Scott reportedly referred to her opponent as “ching-chang” and "ching-chong" to voters outside polling precincts. She also allegedly made other offensive comments, including telling one of Chang's campaign volunteers “You don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country.”

In addition, Sean Gray, Chang’s African-American husband, said Scott scolded him for marrying Chang.

Stephanie Chang

Michigan state Rep. Stephanie Chang said Scott's comments disrespected "entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or [Cook's] own current house district.”  (Michigan House Democrats)

Scott also reportedly told a voter that immigrants from China were “coming over and taking our community from us” and that it “disgusts” her to see “black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.”

Chang and Scott were running against each other in the Democratic Party primary for Michigan's 1st Senate District. Chang won the primary with nearly 50 percent of the vote.

“These comments are offensive to all Asian-Americans,” Chang told Metro Times. “It isn't about me. It's about an elected official disrespecting entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or [Cook's] own current House district.”

"I humbly apologize to Rep. Chang and to her husband, Mr. Gray, and to the broader Asian American community."

- Michigan state Rep. Bettie Cook Scott

“We expect better from anyone who wants to call themselves a Michigan Democrat,” the party’s chairman Brandon Dillon said in a statement. “Bettie Cook Scott needs to apologize to the entire Asian-American community. If an individual doesn’t share our fundamental values of tolerance, decency, and respect, they should find another party.”

Following the criticism, Scott released a statement apologizing for the remarks.

“Those are not the kinds of comments that should be made nor are they the kind of comments I would normally make,” Scott said, according to the Detroit News. “I humbly apologize to Rep. Chang and to her husband, Mr. Gray, and to the broader Asian-American community.”

“We live in a time of increasing divisiveness,” she added. “As a state representative, I should never do anything to contribute to an atmosphere of divisiveness and for that, I am terribly sorry. I look forward to meeting with Rep. Chang to express my apologies directly to her as soon as she’s able to meet with me.”

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.