A Republican candidate for mayor in Charlotte, North Carolina is facing backlash for a recent Facebook post listing her race among her qualifications, according to The Charlotte Observer.
“VOTE FOR ME!” Kimberley Paige Barnette wrote last Friday in a post that has since been deleted.
“REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL,” added Barnette, a former Mecklenburg County magistrate making her first bid for office.
The Observer reported Tuesday that Barnette’s post has since gone viral despite the 53-year-old removing it.
Barnette is competing in the Sept. 12 primary against Charlotte city council member Kenny Smith and Gary Dunn.
The chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party on Tuesday took the unusual step of weighing in on a local primary by criticizing Barnette’s post.
“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,” Robin Hayes said in a statement. “This type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse.”
“We believe that bringing people together starts with the Republican belief that government should deliver critical government services in a colorblind way and in a society that judges all people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.”
Smith, meanwhile, said that Barnette is “a fringe candidate” whose post “adds to the divisiveness we’ve seen.”
“She is boosting name ID with sort of absurd campaign tactics,” he added.
Barnette last month also criticized last September’s protesters in Charlotte, calling their demonstrations “an expression of Democratic behavior.”
“I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to [come to] Charlotte,” she said during a WTVI debate at the time.
“We should attract higher-income people,” Barnette added when asked about how her city could help those with lower incomes.
Some Twitter users on Wednesday criticized Barnette's remarks, with some arguing they are distasteful and others charging they have nothing to do with managing Charlotte.