UPDATE: Thursday, October 11, 11:48 a.m.: On Wednesday, Johnson County Republican Party chairman Mike Jones confirmed that Michael Kalny had resigned from his position as a precinct committeeman following racist and homophobic remarks he made about a Democratic candidate. “He reflected an apologetic attitude and didn’t want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area,” Jones said.
A Republican official in Kansas is under fire for a Facebook message he sent Sunday lashing out at Sharice Davids, the Native American, lesbian, MMA fighter, and lawyer who appears poised to win her race for Congress. Michael Kalny, an elected Republican precinct committeeman, sent the nasty note to Anne Pritchett, president of the north chapter of the Johnson County Democratic Women. She took a screenshot of the message, which subsequently went viral.
“Little Ms. Pritchett – you and your comrades[‘] stealth attack on Yoder is going to blow up in your leftist face[s],” Kalny wrote, referring to incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R). “The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS tried to do to Kavanaugh in November. Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Many Republicans were quick to condemn the rhetoric. C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Yoder, said that the congressman “doesn’t believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It’s unacceptable. These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop.”
Jim Joice, executive director of the Kansas GOP, also criticized Kalny, but seized an opportunity to take a swipe at Democrats as well. ““This is the same type of rhetoric we condemn the left for,” he said. “We must be better than this.”
The Kansas City Star reached out to Kalny for comment, but his only response regarding the comment was, “What is this lady trying to accomplish?” He then said he needed to speak to his attorney and hung up.
The official is already facing consequences for his rhetoric, resigning from the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s board of directors Monday for “personal reasons.”
Pritchett, for her sake, was “stunned,” and Davids responded by avoiding too broad a brush. The message, “doesn’t represent Kansas values,” she said, “and it doesn’t represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign.”
But Kansas values are very much a question in this race, and Yoder has previously relied on dog whistles to attack Davids. The night of the primary, when the race between Davids and her Democratic opponent Brent Welder had not yet been called, Yoder commented that “neither of them are from around here, and both want to force their radical ideas on those of use who have dedicated our entire lives to this community and this state.”
Davids was born and raised in Kansas, but that didn’t stop Yoder. He said that night that Davids and Welder “don’t know Kansas. They don’t know our values.”
A Sienna College poll found Davids up 51-43 over Yoder, and the Cook Political Report currently describes the district as “Lean Democratic.”
If elected, Davids will be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress, and the first LGBTQ person to ever represent Kansas.