A recent article (“Lewiston Democrats in turmoil as election season begins,” July 28) cited the allegations of three former Lewiston Democratic Committee officers that Vice Chair Safiya Khalid was the target of racial abuse at the committee’s July 22 meeting.

I attended that meeting. I can attest that at no time did attendees engage in such bigoted behavior against Khalid. Indeed, she was encouraged and welcome to run for any office, including chair.

Since the outgoing chair had convened the whole committee only once before July 22 in the last 15 months, there was heated discussion at the meeting over how the officer elections should proceed.

Eventually elections were held, but Khalid decided not to run for chair. She claimed that racial prejudice discouraged her candidacy, but there was no evidence that I saw at the meeting that she was the victim of racial or any other kind of bias.

On the contrary, Lewiston Democrats have long encouraged her activism, including electing her as committee vice chair, endorsing her run to represent Ward 1 on the Lewiston City Council, and offering enthusiastic support to her successful campaign.

The committee was successful in electing a slate of officers, all of whom have considerable political and public service experience. I am confident that they will lead the committee with civility and integrity.

Chris Beam, Lewiston

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