After Prince William County Republicans elected a new party committee chairman, an elected county official took to Facebook and made comments that some are calling racist.
Tiziana Bottino is an elected Director of the Prince William County Soil and Water Conservation District, an agency that monitors, and protects water and soil quality in an
effort to curb pollution. The agency in Prince William is one of 47 in the state, and it is managed by a five-member board, three of which are members that are elected by the public.
Prince William County Republicans on Saturday, June 27, elected new committee chairman Tim Parrish. He’s a U.S. Marine, has been involved with the committee for about a year, and will replace former Chairman William “Bill” Card.
His race is African-American, a fact that Bottino decided to bring into the discussion when she made a comment about Parrish on the Potomac Local News Facebook page.
“Yay, now you have your token black person, congratulations! You’re officially diverse!” Bottino commented on the page.
“Pretty racist to say they have to conform to a particular way of thinking based on race…” replied another Facebook user.
“Tiziana Bottino that’s pretty racist of you,” replied another.
Potomac Local News attempted to reach Bottino. An administrative assistant at the soil and water district said she was unable to provide us with a government-issued email address for Bottino, and offered to pass along our questions to her.
Potomac Local News asked Bottino via email:
- Can you tell us why you chose to address Mr. Parrish’s race in your comment?
- Can you tell us if you think these types of comments about race made on social media are becoming of an elected official? If so, why?
Bottino did not respond to our request for comment.
Parrish did speak with Potomac Local News about Bottino’s comment.
“Her rhetoric isn’t just insulting to me, it’s insulting to all black people. Some liberal Democrats claim that Black Lives Matter, but they often take us for granted, or view us as just tokens, or say that ‘we ‘ain’t black’ based on who we vote for. I’ve experienced subtle racism before and I can handle it, but it’s unfortunate that black families in Prince William County have to see this from one of their elected officials, especially when so many, including myself are working hard to unite our communities during a time of racial unrest,” Parrish said.
Bottino is listed as an independent by the Virginia Department of Elections. She accepted one campaign donation in 2019, according to VPAP — $54 from Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke).
Bottino was elected as one of three directors of the Soil and Water Conservation District in November 2019. She was one of five candidates who ran for the position, winning 22% of the votes in the race– the second-most of all five candidates.