Emanuel "Manny" Morales is in for the fight.
The Philadelphia City Council candidate, who came under fire this week after a political rival pointed out racist, antigay, and anti-poor-people messages on his Facebook page, said Friday that he is staying in the May 19 primary to determine the Democratic Party's candidate in the Seventh District.
"We will continue doing like we did with our petitions," said Morales, who until this week was the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate, "knocking on doors and visiting every single person in the district."
Morales is running against two-term incumbent Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who on Monday released dozens of copies of questionable posts that she said were on Morales' Facebook page. The messages advocated drug-testing welfare recipients, shutting down the U.S. border, enacting pro-gun legislation, and other positions Democrats generally oppose.
Some of the posts were verified by The Inquirer before Morales deactivated his Facebook page Monday afternoon. One was a photo comparing a jaywalking black man to an animal using an overhead walkway that included this comment: "This shows who is an animal? Awesome picture."
Morales has denied that the posts on his page were made by him.
"They are not my views and I did not make those postings," Morales said during a news conference at his campaign headquarters on East Hunting Park Avenue in Juniata Park.
When pressed for explanations and details, Morales responded, "I repeat, I did not make those postings."
Morales' campaign has launched an internal investigation into the Facebook matter, said campaign spokesman Michael Blackie. He did not offer any details on the investigation other than to say it would look as far back as 2010.
Morales said that once the investigation is complete, the campaign will offer the results to the public.
Quiñones Sánchez, in a statement, said: "We welcome further investigation into Manny Morales' social-media postings because it will further illustrate that Manny Morales is not only a bigot. He is also a liar."
The posts led to an outcry from some Democratic leaders, including Mayor Nutter and former Mayor John F. Street, who called for rescinding the party's endorsement of Morales. On Thursday, the Democratic City Committee did so.
Morales, nevertheless, was undeterred.
"We want to have an open primary so that the citizens are the ones who choose who is the most qualified person to truly represent them with dignity, honesty, and without any discrimination," Morales said after his news conference. "The citizens are yelling and demanding for change, and that change will come on May 19 when they elect Manny Morales to represent everyone in the Seventh District."
Blackie said the campaign will no longer comment on the matter until its investigation is complete.
"We're going to spend the next 60 days banging on doors, meeting voters. We're moving on," Blackie said.