CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte mayoral candidate has an eyebrow raising message for voters. Republican candidate Kimberley Paige Barnette’s Facebook page says, “Vote for me!” and advertises her as, “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”
Barnette also wants voters to know she is not in favor of LGBTQ protections against discrimination.
“I would not support the local Ordinance LGBT,” Barnette wrote in a status from July. “I was a magistrate in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, NC) for over 18 years. I issued a warrant on a male for secret peeping in the local shopping mall years ago in the restroom.”
Charlotte only voted to expand its nondiscrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ people, including the right of trans people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity, last year. It was then nullified by House Bill 2 (HB2), and later repealed.
Not only does the status rely on “predators in the bathroom” fear mongering, it seems it occurred at a time before the nondiscrimination ordinance had been expanded to protect transgender people, based on her wording, “years ago.”
It therefore makes the point that sexual offenders don’t need a law granting trans people the right to use bathrooms matching their gender identity to commit crimes, and that there are already laws in place to deal with those individuals.
The Republican candidate, who is running against city council member Kenny Smith and businessman Gary Dunn in the primary, also drew criticism online for her statement during a debate that she doesn’t think the city should “encourage more lower-income people to (come to) Charlotte.”
“We should attract higher-income people,” she said.
Barnette also said she was not in favor of allowing transgender people to use the restrooms matching their gender identity in the debate.
“I don’t believe that transgenders should be in bathrooms based on their, who they identify with, I never have,” she said. “I believe that there could be a separate restroom, but however I do not believe that that should be allowed whatsoever.”
“As a magistrate, I issued processes on persons that were in the bathroom, males that were in the bathroom, and you never know what they are, and they scare children, quite frankly,” she added.
Barnette could not be immediately reached. We will update this story if she returns our request for comment.
UPDATE (9/2): Barnette has edited her Facebook page to remove the reference to being white, as well as smart and traditional, and now only identifies herself as a Republican.
UPDATE 2 (9/3): Barnette has responded via email. Her comments, edited for brevity and clarity, follow:
I’m not prejudice. I do not judge other people. Other people judge me. What is the difference? I say I’m white. Others describe themselves as example transgenders. Are they labeling themselves? I’m also a divorced mother of two adult children. I accept others as who they are. I have traditional conservative views when it comes to family and friendships.
UPDATE 3 (9/4): City council member LaWana Mayfield, who is running for reelection, representing District 3, has responded to Barnette’s statements on Twitter.
Mayfield is encouraging everyone to vote, and discourages those thinking a candidate like Barnette can’t win, with a hashtag pointing out that Donald Trump won the presidency despite many doubting it was a real possibility.
— LaWana Mayfield (@lawanamayfield) September 4, 2017
UPDATE 4 (9/5): Barnette appears to have deactivated or deleted her Facebook account.
The chairman of the North Carolina Republican party has condemned Barnette’s racial appeal, calling her a “fringe” candidate.
“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,” GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.