Kimberley Paige Barnette, a mayoral candidate in Charlotte, North Carolina, is facing backlash after she listed being “white” as one of her qualifications.
Barnette, a 53-year-old former Mecklenburg County magistrate judge running for office for the first time, wrote on her Facebook profile description that she was “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL”.
The description quickly drew ire on social media, as The North Carolina Republican Party quickly distanced themselves from Barnette.
According to the Charlotte Observer, A newcomer to elective politics, Barnette, served as a magistrate in Mecklenburg County twice, from 1987-1995 and again from 2003-2013. Before her candidacy, Barnette worked as an associate at the Amazon warehouse in Charlotte.
For those who don't believe a mayoral candidate would advertise herself as "white" pic.twitter.com/fXoBEKMolF
— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) September 2, 2017
“Vote for me!” Kimberley Paige Barnette, a former county magistrate judge running for office for the first time, wrote on her Facebook profile.
Then, following two lines that included her name and “Mayor of Charlotte 2017” was a description of herself, in four capitalized words: “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL”
The description, which appeared at the top of her Facebook profile, quickly drew angry responses on social media, the Charlotte Observer reported. The North Carolina Republican Party also has distanced itself from the little-known candidate.
North Carolina GOP Chairman Robin Hayes released a statement about Barnette’s action:
“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 of the candidates. Any suggestion that a candidate is more or less qualified for political office based on their skin color alone, offensive to North Carolina Republicans and we condemn it. This type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse.”
Barnette was already a long-shot in a GOP primary including city council member Kenny Smith and businessman Gary Dunn.