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UPDATED: Haley Volunteer: 'My Role Has Been Overblown'

Roan Garcia-Quintana of Mauldin says criticisms aimed at him are "desperate."

UPDATED 9:20 P.M.

Tim Pearson sent Patch the following statement:

"Ms. Sosanie, Vince Sheheen, and the Democrat Party weren't concerned about how this country viewed South Carolina when their leader made racial and then misogynist attacks on the governor, nor when he compared her to Hitler's girlfriend. They weren't concerned when their colleague, Phil Bailey, racially slurred her. And they were completely silent when a leading Democrat legislator referred to Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, as someone who wasn't a minority but just 'a conservative with a tan.' Their faux outrage is just that - faux, political, and as uninteresting to South Carolinians as where they want to take our state."

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The controversial volunteer on Gov. Nikki Haley's grassroots steering committee says that his role in the governor's re-election campaign has been overblown by Democrats seeking to score political points.

"They're desperate," Roan Garcia-Quintana said. "they're searching for a needle in a haystack."

Garcia-Quintana, a Mauldin resident, said he has no plans to step aside and has not been asked to. Even if he were, he said he would still volunteer on behalf of Haley.

Earlier this week, Garcia-Quintana was linked to an organization that advocates for purification of races. He did not back off those views when he spoke to Patch on Saturday.

"Why is it ok for a Jewish family to want their children to marry other Jews, but it's not ok when another group wants the same thing?" he said. He also criticized the SPLC for being politically-motivated.

Garcia-Quintana said he finds it curious that his views are being given attention now, three months after he joined the steering committee (the entire committee is viewable here).

Garcia-Quintana said that he got on the steering committee by signing up via email and that he is not in regular communication with the re-election campaign. He said he last spoke to Haley at the state GOP convention three weeks ago and the conservation was brief.

Additionally, Garcia-Quintana is hardly new to South Carolina politics. He ran unsuccessfully for State Senate in 2008 and he said he has worked as a consultant on numerous campaigns, inlcuding that of Sen. Larry Martin, a Republican from Pickens County. He has a long record in the public eye, as his biography (viewable here) would seem to suggest. 

He is a native of Cuba, having come to America in 1961 after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Given his political experience, Garcia-Quintana was not surprised that Haley is being attacked. "There are elements in both parties who don't like the fact she's a female," he said.

Democrats, meanwhile, were doing everything possible to keep Garcia-Quintana in the news, pushing the belief that his presence on Haley's team, even as a volunteer is bad for the state's image. Kristen Sosanie, the Communications Director for the South Carolina Democratic Party told Patch:

"Governor Haley appointing and standing by Mr. Garcia-Quintana as a co-chair of her campaign sends a signal to businesses and people in this state and around the country that SC is ok with his kind of hurtful, divisive, racist thinking. That's not attractive to businesses, young people, entrepreneurs or the families we need to keep in and attract to SC in order to rebuild the state and improve the economy. South Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and Governor Haley's actions hurt our economic prospects and damaged our state's reputation. Instead of denouncing Mr. Garcia-Quintana's beliefs, Governor Haley is once again making this about politics and fighting to protect herself rather than doing right for the people of South Carolina. Our state deserves a leader who will put people and businesses ahead of politics.  

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stanley seigler May 26, 2013 at 05:47 PM
re: So who is the raciest? think most sane folks realize racism is alive and well in both DEM and GOP parties...for that matter society in general...and; sadly black prejudice is being supplemented with muslin prejudice... posted on a related PATCH thread: re: why is he supporting Governor Haley? good point...but from most reports there is little doubt he is a racist... 'I[ Rusty Inman] urge you to do so [follow SPCL link] . The SPLC is an internationally-respected and historically-honored organization that does not deal in rumor and innuendo---its credibility is reflective of its concern for factual research and reporting. The idea that this man is serving on the campaign committee or is in any way associated with this governor should be reprehensible to South Carolinians of every political persuasion and South Carolinians of every color and stripe.' re: 'Why are you all giving the Democrats a pass...' i dunno...to which specific 'raciest comments' do you refer... for sure 'we all' should not give anyone a pass...
richard kirchdofer May 26, 2013 at 08:20 PM
We as citizens of this state can only do one thing with these politicians that sit up in the state house and do nothing (just as we did with mouth of the south Jake Knotts vote them out of office. If we continue to go on just as we are we deserve what we get.
George Grace May 27, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Agree, and put Joe Wilson, Mark Sanford and Lindsey Graham at the top of the list.
Betty May 28, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Why?
George Grace May 28, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Check out my post on Joe Wilson under the Keystone story below.

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