KANKAKEE, Ill. (WLS) --A candidate in the race for Kankakee County state's attorney is defending a costume he wore five years ago.
Republican Ed Glazar dressed up like a battered Tiger Woods for Halloween. The image is drawing a protest by the local NAACP chapter.
The county seat of Kankakee County is Kankakee, where 40-percent of its residents are African American. In a diverse county, a local white candidate is being criticized for his portrayal of celebrity of color.
The people of Kankakee County will elect a new state's attorney, and there are three candidates in the primary. Photos of one of the Republican candidates are getting attention.
"I was appearing as Tiger Woods, a beat up Tiger Woods. There was no intent to be offensive or insulting to anybody. If anybody took it that way, I apologize," Glazar said.
Ed Glazar said in a phone interview Tuesday that the photos from a Halloween party.
He says the 2010 costume was supposed to be a beaten up Tiger Woods, but others see more.
"I think it's quite insensitive," said Theodis Pace, president, NAACP-Kankakee County branch.
Pace says Glazar should not be out of the race.
"With the climate what's going on in Chicago, across the nation, I don't think an apology will be accepted and personally I think he should withdraw," Pace said.
The other Republican in the race, Emile Capriotti, said he hopes this doesn't reflect poorly on other Republicans.
"It's not what I would do," Capriotti said.
The Democratic candidate, Jim Rowe, first brought the photos to the attention of ABC7.
"It's troubling. We want everyone in our community to have confidence in our criminal justice system in Kankakee County. Photos like that call that system into question," Rowe said.
Glazar was the Kankakee County's chief public defender, where he says he defended the African American community for 32 years. He says bringing the photos to the public's attention is a personal political attack, but said Tuesday he would have done things differently.
"In retrospect I would have just been more prudent and go as a different character. How this turned into this big firestorm five years later is beyond me, but again, it was not meant to offend anybody," Glazar said.
Glazar said the Halloween photos came from his wife's Facebook page and he said he has no intention of dropping out of the race.
The Kankakee County Republican Central Committee did not endorse either candidate in the race, but the committee chairman tells me she has seen the photos and calls them distasteful.