A Republican candidate running for Charlotte mayor has come under fire after she urged residents to vote for her by describing herself as “Republican & smart, white, traditional” on her Facebook page.
Kimberley Barnette, 53, one of the three candidates running in next week’s mayoral primary, wrote on her Facebook profile: “Vote for me! Kimberley Paige Barnette, Mayor of Charlotte 2017, REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”
The short description was heavily criticized by social media users and was taken down shortly after, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“You are NOT doing conservatives or Republicans any favors,” one social media user wrote.
Robin Hayes, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, has condemned the social media post. Hayes said Tuesday that any suggestion a candidate is more or less qualified based on skin color alone “is offensive to North Carolina Republicans.”
“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,” Hayes said. “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 apologized Tuesday if she offended anyone and said she was not suggesting she was a better candidate because of skin color.
Barnette, who is running against Kenny Smith and Gary Dunn, said in a WTVI debate in August that she did not want to encourage lower-income people to move to Charlotte when asked how she would help lower-income families.
“I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to [come to] Charlotte,” Barnette said. “We should attract higher-income people.”
Barnette told the Charlotte Observer that she would be a good mayor because “I’m good at listening and analyzing information. I think I’d be good at it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.