Prince William Republicans Respond to Chairman Candidate John Gray’s ‘Incendiary’ Tweets

| September 25, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

John Gray, Republican Candidate for Prince William County Chairman.

It was revealed, Tuesday, that John Gray, Republican Candidate for Chairman At-large of the Board of County Supervisor made “thousands” of offensive, divisive and incendiary statements on Twitter that he then tried to have erased. The Tweets mock and/or insult ethnic groups, religious groups, women, LGBTQ people and liberals.

Democrats are calling the statements racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic, and saying he is unfit to serve in Prince William County, a minority-majority jurisdiction. Prince William Republicans have now issued a statement calling the Tweets “inappropriate,” and not in line with their core values.

The Washington Post broke the story, Tuesday, explaining that Democrat Candidate for Chairman At-large Ann Wheeler reported them after John Gray’s campaign listed an expense that went to someone who removed Tweets from his account. Wheeler’s campaign easily found the deleted Tweets and send the information to the media.

The Post chose to not share the comments due to their offensive nature. However, “a sample” of the offensive Tweets can be found here on BlueVirginia a liberal blog site. They are especially insulting to Muslims, trans people and African Americans.

The comments made about guns were interpreted by some as inciting violence.

Gray told The Post that some were “completely inappropriate” and said some were posted by a previous campaign manager. He did not apologize for all of his statements.

“The bottom line is, he deleted those tweets because he believed they’re too extreme for Twitter. If they’re too extreme for Twitter, they’re too extreme for Prince William County, and he has no business running Prince William County,” said Wheeler in The Washington Post article and on her Facebook page.

Prince William Republican Party, GOP Chair Bill Card issued the following statement, on behalf of his party, saying those statements do not represent party values, but asking that voters extend Gray some “grace”:

“Prince William County is a diverse community where there is no place for bigotry or intolerance. John Gray has apologized for the inappropriate comments that he made on Twitter in the past and he has expressed sincere remorse. John will be meeting with members of the community to make amends.”

“Republicans reject divisive sentiments and identity politics. We fully subscribe to the Virginia Republican Creed that states in part: . . .  all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society.”

“In that vein, I expect Prince William Democrats to give John Gray the same grace they have given Governor Northam for his blackface scandal. To not extend the same courtesy would be hypocritical.”*

Kenny Boddye Democratic Candidate for Occoquan Supervisor, who has long been critical of Gray’s divisive form of politics, immediately took to social media outlets, Tuesday, to condemn Gray.

“John Gray had already showed us exactly what his priorities were just a few months ago,” said Boddye in a written statement. “His choice to wear a ‘Make American Great Again’ hat at the McCoart Building on the day of the Republican Firehouse Caucus, coupled with a platform on his website which celebrated racial profiling policies and mocked the rights of trans people, gave us a clear look into where he stands.

Wednesday, Boddye called upon Gray to withdraw from the Chairman’s race. “He is unfit to hold any elected office, let alone the highest local seat in the most diverse county in Virginia; his only act of penance now must be to withdraw his candidacy.”

Boddye said he plans to make further comment at a future media conference yet to be announced.

In regards to Bill Card’s statement, Boddye said Republicans should be distancing themselves from Gray in a more substantial way.

“Prince William County Republican Committee had an opportunity to distance themselves from the racist, xenophobic, sexist, islamophobic and transphobic vitriol espoused by their Chairman nominee, but they chose to do the exact opposite. No ‘meeting with the community’ can make amends for Gray’s words, especially when he doubled down on many of them.”.

“Prince William County has come too far to allow someone like John Gray to lead. We must bring together a diverse, inclusive coalition to reject him and those who enable him both through their words and their silence.”

Prince William County is already used to sensationalist Twitter tactics employed by current Chairman, Republican Corey Stewart as he ran for higher office. While mocking liberals, his comments – to the best our knowledge – were not aimed at religious groups, ethnic groups or any specific community (except maybe journalists.)

Conservative Gray beat moderate Republican Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe in the Firehouse primary in a surprising outcome.

*Note: while this is the official party statement, it does not speak for every single Republican. 

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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