Harris opponent apologizes for racial slur

A candidate running for the congressional seat of Rep. Katherine Harris  apologized Thursday for comments he made about the swimming ability of blacks.

Republican Tramm Hudson, a banker, made the comments earlier this year at a Christian Coalition political forum. The remarks appeared on blogs Thursday.

“I said something stupid,” Hudson said in a statement released by his campaign. “I apologize for it and would apologize in person to anyone hurt by my comments.”

Hudson made the comments as he described efforts to rescue a black soldier who had fallen into a river while the Army Reserve company Hudson commanded was training in Panama 22 years ago.

“I grew up in Alabama and I understand and I know this from my own experiences that blacks aren’t the best swimmers or may not even know how to swim,” Hudson said, according to a transcript released by his campaign.

Other troops pulled the solider out of the river and gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Hudson continued. He then attributed the successful rescue to “divine intervention.”

Hudson is one of five candidates seeking the GOP nomination to succeed Harris in Florida’s 13th District. Harris is running for U.S. Senate.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press