Leader of Arizona’s #RedforEd Movement ‘Not Sorry’ John McCain Died

Teacher protest presents itself as a nonpartisan group


Derek Harris, a lead organizer for Arizona's #RedforEd teacher protest, which presents itself as a bipartisan movement but has closely aligned itself with Democrat David Garcia, has been celebrating the death of John McCain, suggesting he be replaced in the Senate by an "empty rusted bucket."

McCain's death last weekend in Arizona elicited mournful responses from both sides of the aisle, with politicians such as Garcia, the Democratic candidate for governor in the state, calling him a "great man and a great Arizonan."

Harris, a member of #RedforEd's leadership group who was highlighted by the Free Beacon earlier this year for his highly partisan social media posts, has stated in the week since McCain's death his opinion that the Arizona senator was a "racist" and criticized those who disagreed with him.

He first responded to a fellow Twitter user by calling McCain an "old bigot," saying, "He's no jerry Falwell, but I’m not sorry he’s gone… more worried about who’ll get appointed in his place."

His suggestion for who should replace McCain was an "empty, rusted bucket."

Harris also retweeted other users attacking McCain, who has yet to be laid to rest. One of the posts shared by Harris characterized McCain as a "racist dirtbag." Another, from radical Mehdi Hasan, did offer condolences to McCain's family, but only as a way to put the blame on McCain for the deaths of "thousands of innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Syrians, Palestinians & others who might be alive today were it not for the votes, & actions, of John McCain."

Garcia has aligned himself with #RedforEd as recently as Thursday evening. Earlier in the week he said he was "proud to stand" with #RedforEd. Garcia said he was limiting his campaigning this week as memorial services were carried out for McCain in the state.

Harris told the Free Beacon in April that they don't "get into partisan politics" during their meetings.

Brent Scher   Email Brent | Full Bio | RSS
Brent Scher is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics.

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