KY GOP drops support of Johnson citing outrageous posts - News, Weather & Sports

KY GOP drops support of Johnson citing outrageous posts

Republican candidate for the 49th District Pope Dan Johnson (Source: WAVE 3 News) Republican candidate for the 49th District Pope Dan Johnson (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Calling his social media posts “so outrageous,” the Republican Party of Kentucky has withdrawn its support for one of its candidates running for State Representative.

Friday Republican candidate for the 49th District Pope Dan Johnson wanted to address the posts in question on his Facebook page. Posts, that the state GOP Chair Mac Brown deemed, "The rankest sort of prejudice present in society."

Johnson said he really wasn't surprised that the GOP and the Democratic Party of Kentucky found his posts offensive. Although, he said he did not mean to offend anyone. He said he's never been politically correct, because it's not who he is and he's not changing now.

Republican Party of Kentucky, or RPK, spokesman Tres Watson said, "We're not supporting Dan Johnson."

Watson said RPK came to that conclusion after seeing photos representing the President and First Lady as apes to statements about Muslims and posts stating "I love being white" on Johnson's Facebook page.    

Watson added, "This sort of rank racism is not what we stand for as a party."

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"That would be some of the Republican leaders in the Republican Party in the state." Johnson said, "People who know me, know I love people."

Johnson contends he's concerned only about his constituents in the 49th District of Bullitt County. He said his posts were never meant to be hurtful. We asked him if he understands why people are offended. He answered, "Yes, yes I do."

Johnson said he was attempting to be funny and claims to have also posted pictures of president George Bush as a monkey. He maintains he has worked with many African American leaders such as Jesse Jackson as well as other Presidents over the years. In Louisville, Johnson served as a host during Donald Trump's campaign visit and said he admires Trump's lack of political correctness.

"We're moving into a toxic political climate and I think Donald Trump is responsible for a lot of it," said longtime University of Louisville Political Science Professor Dr. Dewey Clayton.

Clayton believes Trump's political success is the reason other candidates don't care about what other people think.

Clayton said, "The language and the discourse is really reaching a low, that I've not seen, probably ever."

Johnson is running against Democratic incumbent Linda Belcher. The Kentucky Democratic Party also put out a statement, it reads in part, "Racism does not deserve a slap on the wrist or a second chance," it continues, "the only option would be for this candidate to withdraw from seeking a role as a lawmaker."

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