Posted on September 6, 2017

Longshot Candidate Running for Mayor of Charlotte Draws Backlash for Listing ‘White’ as One of Her Qualifications

Ariel Zilber, Daily Mail, September 6, 2017

Kimberley Paige Barnette

Kimberley Paige Barnette

A woman running for mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina was harshly criticized this week for suggesting that her being white was a reason to support her candidacy.

Kimberley Paige Barnette, 53, is a longshot candidate for the Republican Party nomination in The Queen City’s mayoral race.

On her Facebook page, Barnette cited a number of qualifications that she hoped voters would take into account.

‘Vote for me! Kimberley Paige Barnette, Mayor of Charlotte 2017,’ the Facebook profile reads.

Underneath that introduction is the line: ‘REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.’

The fierce backlash led Barnette to delete the description from her social media, but screenshots of the profile continue to go viral.

Robin Hayes, who is the top Republican Party official in North Carolina, said that Barnette’s social media profile was ‘offensive to North Carolina Republicans.’

‘This type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse,’ Hayes said.

Barnette, a former magistrate in Mecklenburg County, apologized on Tuesday, according to WRAL.

The GOP mayoral primary is scheduled for September 12.

She is currently trailing two other GOP candidates who are leading the race – city council member Kenny Smith and businessman Gary Dunn, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Barnette has made controversial statements in the past.

During a televised debate last month, she criticized protests in Charlotte which were sparked by police-involved shootings, calling the demonstrations ‘an expression of Democratic behavior.’

When she was asked how the city could help low-income residents, she said: ‘I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to [come to] Charlotte.’

‘We should attract higher-income people.’

Barnette has also opposed legislation extending protection against discrimination to LGBT individuals, according to Q Notes.

She has stated her opposition to allowing transgender people to use restrooms that correspond to their preferred gender because of cases in the past where ‘males that were in the bathroom’ would ‘scare children.’

Barnette responded to Q Notes with an email.

‘I’m not prejudice,’ she wrote. ‘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.’

The GOP will seek to field a candidate that can defeat the incumbent, Democratic Mayor Jennifer Roberts.