By Anica Padilla

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming state legislator has apologized after posting a tweet about the state’s first Black sheriff. Republican state Rep. Cyrus Western replied on social media Monday to an article about Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans’ appointment with a racially offensive movie clip.

Western said he has since called Appelhans to apologize.

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The state representative deleted his tweet after criticism mounted and said his post was intended to be a reference to the film Blazing Saddles and not meant to disparage the state’s first Black sheriff. In the film, a former slave serves as the sheriff of an all-white town.

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“What I did was insensitive, and, while unintended, I recognize that it was wrong. I hope he accepts my apology,” Western tweeted. “I’d like to issue a retraction. My remark about the new Albany Sheriff was dumb and uncalled for. I have personally called the Sheriff to own up to it. I didn’t get through, but left a VM on his work phone.”

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Anica Padilla