Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has called on a Leavenworth County commissioner to resign after he told a black woman at a public meeting that he belongs to a “master race.”
“Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office,” Colyer said in his statement Saturday afternoon. “The inappropriate remarks made by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of the county which he represents. As such, I call on him to step down as county commissioner.”
Klemp’s comment came as Triveece Penelton was making a road development presentation during the Nov. 13 meeting, FOX 4 of Kansas City reported. He was not happy with the options being presented by her and a colleague.
“I don’t want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race,” Klemp told Penelton. “You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race. Don’t you forget that.”
Klemp, chairman of the three-member commission, also has a gap in his teeth. Fellow commissioners Robert Holland and Doug Smith have also called for Klemp to leave.
“In the best interest of the county, he should resign,” Smith said. The commissioners' page on the county website on Saturday showed photos of Holland and Smith but only a blank space where a photo of Klemp would appear.
In a statement released Friday, the Leavenworth City Commission said it "denounces the use of 'master race' or any other language that has historic ties to racism, division and bigotry in any setting at any time."
Earlier this year, Holland asked the Kansas Attorney General’s Office whether Klemp could be removed from his chairman position. Though he hasn’t received an answer, Holland said he make a motion Tuesday to remove Klemp, according to the Leavenworth Times.
Last year, Holland criticized remarks made by Klemp in which he said he admired Confederate General Robert E. Lee.