(National Sentinel) Pandering: A white Democratic candidate for Congress from North Carolina made the bizarre claim that he’s a member of the “African-American community” in response to a question about ensuring diversity in office.

Gary Shipman, who is running for the U.S. House, and other candidates were asked by “Suit Up Wilmington Outreach” leaders how they planned to get blacks into their campaign and how they would raise diversity.

“I’m a member of the African-American community,” Shipman said. “I’ve been where you are. I’ve been in your communities.”

One female candidate offered to go to black-led events in the community, but Shipman responded that he didn’t need an invitation because he was already a member.

Later, in response to grilling from local media, Shipman appeared to walk back his comments, explaining that he doesn’t really see himself as being black, just invested in the black community.

“I’ve eaten at many a fish fry held by my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters,’ ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ in that community; I’ve celebrated birthdays, births, marriages, graduations, Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4, etc., with many members of the African-American community,” Shipman wrote in an email to The News & Observer, as reported by The Daily Caller.

Shipman is challenging incumbent Rep. Holly Grange, a Republican.

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