A picture has surfaced of Robbie Gatti, who is a white Republican running for a seat in the state legislature, wearing black face as part of a Tiger Woods costume.

Gatti says this photo was taken 15 years ago during a church function when the golf star was at the height of his career.

ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says the photo will certainly not help Gatti’s campaign.

“You can’t, as a white individual, dress up in black face if you’re going to personify an African American. On the other hand, I think we should withhold a little bit of judgement.”

Gatti claims his church held a fall festival and he was told to dress up as a famous person but had no idea it would be offensive. The Bossier City politician issued an apology today on KEEL in Shreveport and suspects his opponents were behind the leak.

“You’re talking about someone that has, when I say never been racist, I mean never.”

Gatti is one of four candidates running for the District 8 seat vacated by Mike Johnson. LSU Shreveport Political Science Professor Jeffery Sadow says 15 years ago, Gatti likely didn’t expect social media to blow up as it has today.

“Politicians have skeletons in the closet but it’s just these days it’s just much more likely that they’ll be revealed in some way. That’s probably something that gives people pause who want to run for office these days.”