Cambridge Council Candidate Drops out After Racist Posts Surface
A candidate for Cambridge City Council dropped out Monday after it was revealed he authored several posts on a prominent white supremacist website as a teenager.
John Sanzone, 27, told the Cambridge Chronicle that he did indeed author over 120 posts on Stormfront.org between 2004 and 2005, mostly on issues of race.
Sanzone, who is gay, chalked up the posts to personal struggles with his sexual identity and the arrest of his father.
“I was a fairly out-of-place person, meaning a deeply closeted gay person, in my youth. I was outwardly not a very pro-gay person at that time, which I think is not an uncommon, psychological experience for every gay youth, even adults. It’s very shameful that I would ever think or talk that way. Because looking back it was all very obvious I was in denial,” Sanzone said in comments to the Chronicle.
Sanzone was a shy candidate in Cambridge, a major flaw in a very crowded field. At forums he rarely spoke, and when he did, he often seemed to lack confidence in a public setting.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Sanzone said:
“I am withdrawing completely from Cambridge public life, with a great deal of regret, because I truly feel I could have been a respectable public servant long into the future and helped create a truly special Cambridge. This is painful. There is much in my life that I wish I could undo, but alas even the pointless, terrible, and obscure can come back and wrench your very purpose of being. Over the last few years, I made Cambridge my everything, and whatever I was in my younger days has nothing to do with who I am today. I’m sorry I was not a better person.”
Cambridge has an at-large council system, so Sanzone was a member of the Slate for Cambridge, a collection of very progressive candidates organized by current Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen. According to the Chronicle, Sanzone was in the process of defecting and joining the Unity Slate, a collection of incumbent and moderate candidates. There are nine council seats.
Both slates have distanced themselves from Sanzone.
This is not the first time Stormfront has caused a scandal in mainstream politics, but it is the first time it has affected a local race in Greater Boston.
Cambridge votes on November 3.