Dem congressional hopeful Mallory Hagan backtracks on initial claim to NYC roots — ‘To be called a New Yorker is silly’
It has been a decade since Alabama Democratic congressional hopeful Mallory Hagan grew dissatisfied with Alabama’s culture and left Auburn University for New York City’s Brooklyn borough. As a resident of the Big Apple, she would go on to become Miss New York, and then the 2013 Miss America.
Immediately after her win, Hagan embraced the “New Yorker” moniker.
“I’ve lived in like six different Brooklyn neighborhoods, so I definitely consider myself a New Yorker,” said Hagan in a 2013 interview. “I’m as New York as they come. I’m just wrapped in a more delicate Southern charm.”
In a subsequent interview, Hagan added that she was seeking to “lay down roots in New York.”
“No matter what happened, I was going to come back to New York,” Hagan said according to the New York Post in a January 15, 2013 article.
Fast-forward five-and-a-half years later: Hagan has since returned to Alabama and is the Democratic Party’s choice to replace incumbent Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks). But she is no longer touting her New Yorker credentials.
In an interview with the Anniston Star’s Tim Lockette published on Tuesday afternoon, Hagan dismissed her earlier statements about being a New Yorker. After blaming her opponent’s polling for her 2013 remarks proclaiming her status as a New Yorker, she defended her attack on Alabama’s “culture,”
“[W]hen I talk to college kids on our 11 college campuses in this district, that’s what they say too,” said Hagan according to the Star. “What is there to stay for? And many say that if there was something to stay for, the culture in this state leaves much to be desired … to be called a New Yorker is silly. I would not have made it in New York if I had not grown up in Alabama.”
When asked by Lockette what she specifically meant about “Alabama culture,” Hagan replied by saying her remarks were referring to race relations.
“I think that we are still living along very strict racial lines,” Hagan said to the Star. “I think we’ve seen that in Anniston. I think we see that between Tuskegee and Auburn. While we are integrated, very little integration is happening. Look at the way we are gerrymandered, look at our school zones. We have sought to stay separated, and to me that is the greatest disservice that we could ever do to our kids and our communities.”
Hagan’s interview was part of her meeting with The Anniston Star’s editorial board and reporters, as noted by Lockette in the article.