Erika Harold, a Republican running for Illinois attorney general and former Miss America, alleges her fellow party member and legislature candidate Burt Minor of asking her sexual orientation and using homophobic and racial slurs.
The comments came during an October meeting between Minor and Harold where he began asking questions about her sexuality and marital status, wondering if she is a lesbian, according to Politico.
“We had a meeting with Burt Minor, and during the course of the conversation he asked me if I had children. I said no. He asked me if I was married. I said no. He then asked me if I had ever been married. I said no,” Harold said.
“Are you a lesbo?” Minor then asked the beauty pageant, not once but multiple times.
Harold said she told him no.
“But then I also made it clear that someone’s sexual orientation should not be used to disqualify them for running for office,” Harold said.
The conservation turned heated when Minor asked Harold, who is an African- American, if it’s appropriate to use the “n-word.”
“But he said the full word,” Harold claimed and added he used the word three or four times but did not apologize for it.
“I haven’t heard anyone use that word in a very long time, and I told him it was inappropriate for anyone to say that,” she added.
“While I’m obviously focused on my (attorney general) race, I don’t support his candidacy and think he should withdraw from the (House) race,” she said of her calling out Minor to drop out.
Minor also claimed Harold wanted him to ask the question so she could get it on the record, according Rep Peter Breen, but later said he never used the slurs because he and Harold are friends.
“It was in no way meant to be offensive. I honestly left our meeting unaware that our conversation might have made Erika uncomfortable. My apologies to Erika if she was in any way offended,” Minor said.
“I intend to discuss those facts and the many issues of importance to the residents of Illinois’ 42nd District in the days leading up to Election Day.”
But Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican floor leader of the Illinois House, Peter Breen, called for the candidate to drop out of the race for state representative.
“He’s not fit to be a Republican nominee for office, especially not the General Assembly,” Breen told Politico. “His conduct was outrageous” and every effort has being made to get him to leave the race.
It is to be noted that this was not the first time a GOP politician has made offensive comments towards Harold. In 2013, Rep. Rodney Davis called her a “street walker” who was a “little queen.” The official resigned over accusations.
Just recently, a CPAC official told former chairperson of Republican National Committee Michael Steele he was elected because he is a “black guy.”
It is a well-known fact the party as a whole, which consists of mostly white members, is not only conservative but also racist. It is apparent that quite a few members of the party do not relish the idea of a black person in power. Even if a non-white member is employed, they are sometimes not given the respect they deserve.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters/Tim Shaffer