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Republican Resigns After Saying Native American, Lesbian Candidate Will Be ‘Sent Packing Back to Reservation’

A “radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian” just killed another career in Kansas.

A GOP official resigned Wednesday morning after predicting Sharice Davids, who is campaigning as a Democrat in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, will be “sent back packing to the reservation” in November.

Michael Kalny, a precinct committeeman in Shawnee, made those claims in a Sunday evening rant to the Johnson County Democratic Women. In a private Facebook message, he told Anne Pritchett, president of the group’s north chapter, that alleged attacks on Republicans are “going to blow up in your leftist face.”

“The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS [sic] tried to do to Kavanaugh in November,” he wrote. “Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation.”

Davids, who is campaigning to be the first female Native American lawmaker in U.S. Congress, said the comments don’t “represent Kansas values.”

“[I]t doesn’t represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign,” said Davids, who would also be the first queer woman of color to sit in the national legislature.

Local party leadership agreed with Davids, quickly distancing themselves from the posts after they attracted national media coverage. In a statement to the Kansas City Star, Executive Director of the Kansas GOP Jim Joice claimed the comments were the exact “same type of rhetoric we condemn the left for.”

“We must be better than this,” he added.

A spokesperson for Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder, who currently trails Davids by six points in the race, claimed the comments don’t reflect Yoder’s views.

“Kevin [Yoder] doesn’t believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It’s unacceptable,” claimed Communications Director C.J. Grover in a statement calling attention to America’s increasing political division. “These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop.”

Following GOP pressure, Kalny announced he would be stepping down from his position.

Johnson County Republican Party chairman Mike Jones confirmed yesterday that Kalny had tendered his resignation, claiming he “didn’t want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area.”

“He reflected an apologetic attitude,” Jones told local press.

That tone is markedly different from Kalny’s initial response to the controversy. When the Kansas City Star called the Republican for comment, he asked, “What is this lady trying to accomplish?” It wasn’t clear if he was referring to Davids or Pritchett.

Pritchett has maintained that she was “stunned” by Kalny’s rhetoric, which she called “hostile.”

The attacks, however, are not surprising. Davids, a political newcomer, has consistently led in the contentious U.S. House race after upsetting Democratic favorite Brent Welder in the August primaries. Prior to running for office, the member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation was an attorney and LGBTQ advocate.

Campaign videos highlighting Davids’ history in mixed martial arts went viral in the early days of the race.

“This is a tough place to be a woman,” she said in a segment showing her putting on MMA gloves. “I’ve been put down, pushed aside, and knocked out. Truth is, I’ve had to fight my whole life because of who I am, who I love, and where I started.”

Sensing potential defeat as the November midterms near, the national GOP recently yanked $1 million in ad buys intended to reelect Yoder in Kansas’ 3rd.


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.