search
Sections List
American Journal News

Virginia county GOP condemns its own candidate over monstrous slurs

GOP leaders in Prince William County did what national Republicans still have not done with Donald Trump.

By Josh Israel - October 02, 2019
Share
John Gray Prince William County

On Tuesday, local Republican elected officials in Prince William County, Virginia, demonstrated that it is possible to do what national Republicans largely refuse to do: speak out against hate speech coming from someone in their own party.

It was an all-too-familiar story: an angry Republican with a Twitter account spent much of the past few years spouting racist, xenophobic, sexist, Islamophobic hate and conspiracy theories. Then, he decided to run for office and won his party’s nomination in a surprising upset.

When Donald Trump did this in 2016, virtually the entire Republican Party fell in line behind him. John Gray, the Republican nominee in next month’s election for chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, hoped the same would happen for him.

The chairman position is open because the incumbent — unsuccessful 2018 U.S. Senate GOP nominee Corey Stewart, another xenophobic Trump Republican with white nationalist ties — is not seeking a fifth term.

Gray, who is running as a “conservative” “professional” who is “fighting for Prince William taxpayers,” came under fire a few weeks ago when his Democratic opponent Ann Wheeler noticed he had paid a Twitter-scrubbing service $30 to delete years worth of wildly offensive tweets.

The progressive blog Blue Virginia posted several of those now-deleted tweets. One mocked the abused ex-wife of the Orlando Pulse shooter with the words: “Well, what did you expect? Being Islamic you knew he had the right to beat you. And Obama will defend that right!”

Another since-deleted tweet mocked those protesting and rioting in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September 2016 after a fatal police shooting of an African American man. “I also read that of all the stores looted and burned, not a single pair of work boots was stolen,” he wrote.

At the time, Prince William County Republican Committee Chair Bill Card issued a mildly condemning Gray’s tweets but standing by the nominee.

“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,” he wrote.

Card added that the party rejected “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,” he said. “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.”

At a meeting of the Prince Williiam County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, however, Republican members were far less sympathetic.

Following an emotional speech by a sexual assault survivor, who condemned Gray for suggesting in a now-deleted tweet that rape victims need to shut up “so the rest of us can get on with our lives,” the Republican supervisors praised her and took aim at Gray.

Supervisor Marty Nohe (R) remarked that “being willing to stand up to people who fail to show the leadership that they claim that they have ⁠— it’s a gift that she has to be able to do that. And we need more people who are willing to stand up to that.”

Supervisor Maureen Caddigan (R) was even more blunt.

“Shame on him,” she said. “I feel he’s lost the election. Terrible to break the heart of these parents and the little girl that’s going to live with this the rest of her life. So shame on you, John Gray! I hope you listen to this today. That is a disgrace and you are supposed to be a Christian.”

Supervisor Pete Candland (R) was similarly critical.

“Anyone who gets online and tweets or posts Facebook messages that are degrading or dehumanizing or trying to paint their political opponents or supporters of political opponents in a poor light should really not do that,” he said.

Other Republican supervisors have also criticized Gray and his tweets.

Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly made comparably offensive comments about Muslim people, immigrants, women, people of color, and a wide array of others.

Despite this, the most recent video on the Prince William County Republican Committee’s Facebook page is from a June pro-Trump event. The video shows attendees cheering wildly as footage of first lady Melania Trump introducing her husband plays on a screen in front of them.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

By Rebecca Rivas - December 04, 2023
Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

By Alyssa Burr - October 20, 2023
Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

By Josh Israel - October 20, 2023
Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

By Rebekah Sager - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

By Anna Gustafson - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

By Anna Gustafson - October 18, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Mark Robinson gun raffle raises campaign finance questions

Mark Robinson gun raffle raises campaign finance questions

By Jesse Valentine - February 16, 2024
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Ohio Democrats introduce education bills for universal school meals, teacher pay raises

Ohio Democrats introduce education bills for universal school meals, teacher pay raises

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - February 15, 2024
Democrats dominate in getting bills to become laws, with leadership snagging the most wins

Democrats dominate in getting bills to become laws, with leadership snagging the most wins

By Dana DiFilippo, New Jersey Monitor - February 15, 2024