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GOP candidate Scott Wagner says George Soros rant not racist

The Associated Press
Scott Wagner speaks at a campaign tour kickoff at one of his Penn Waste facilities Monday, July 10, 2017. During the next four to six weeks, Wagner is planning stops across the state to bolster his gubernatorial run. Bill Kalina photo

A Pennsylvania state senator seeking next year’s Republican nomination for governor says he doesn’t plan to apologize for calling billionaire Democratic donor George Soros “a Hungarian Jew” with “a hatred for America.”

Sen. Scott Wagner said Monday that “everybody’s getting their knickers around their ankles over this and there’s no reason for that.”

Wagner’s comments were recorded by an opposition tracker at a tomato festival in Pittston last week.

More: VIDEO: Wagner takes 'tracker's' camera

He says if Soros was Catholic, he’d have called him a Hungarian Catholic, and meant no offense by it. He says his comments weren’t meant to be disrespectful or racist.

More: Wagner tracker incident referred to AG's office

On Monday, the state Democratic Party described Wagner’s comments as anti-Semitic.

More: AG: No charges in Wagner country club incident

Wagner says he has a long record of donating to the York Jewish Community Center.