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GOP chairman condemns mayor candidate's reference to race

September 06, 2017 - 8:42 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party has condemned a social media post by a mayoral candidate that listed her skin color among her qualifications.

Kimberley Barnette is one of three candidates in next week's mayoral primary in Charlotte. On her Facebook page, Barnette urged readers to vote for her, calling herself "REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL." The post was soon taken down.

Chairman Robin Hayes said Tuesday any suggestion a candidate is more or less qualified based on skin color alone "is offensive to North Carolina Republicans." Hayes added "this type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse."

Hayes Statement: 

"The Charlotte mayoral contest will be decided based on who can best promote public safety, provide economic development, and improve critical infrastructure needs. This contest will not be decided based on the skin color the candidates. Any suggestion that a candidate is more or less qualified for political office based on their skin color alone, is offensive to North Carolina Republicans and we condemn it. This type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse. With violent confrontations in the streets under Mayor Roberts, we have seen the dangers to public safety when a Charlotte mayor fails the leadership test of bringing all people together. We believe that bringing people together starts with the Republican belief that government should deliver critical government services in a colorblind way, and in a society that judges all people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin."

Barnett apologized later Tuesday if she offended anyone and says she wasn't suggesting she was a better candidate because of skin color.

She's running against two other candidates.

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