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News: Top Stories

GOP official resigns after saying congressional candidate would be sent back to reservation

Tribune News Service logo Tribune News Service 10/11/2018 By Hunter Woodall and Lynn Horsley, The Kansas City Star
a person standing in front of a red building: Michael Kalny drew backlash after a Facebook message insulting Sharice Davids.   © Michael Kalny drew backlash after a Facebook message insulting Sharice Davids.  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Republican who said of Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids, "your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation," has resigned as a precinct committeeman.

Johnson County Republican Party chairman Mike Jones confirmed that Michael Kalny of Shawnee resigned his post Wednesday in the aftermath of the Facebook message becoming public earlier this week.

"He reflected an apologetic attitude and didn't want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area," Jones said.

Kalny's Facebook message was sent to Anne Pritchett, president of the Johnson County Democratic Women's north chapter, on Monday.

"Little Ms. Pritchett — you and your comrades stealth attack on Yoder is going to blow up in your leftist face," Kalny wrote. "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." Roughly 50 exclamation points followed the end of the message.

Davids is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder for the hotly contested 3rd congressional district seat.

If she wins in November, Davids, a lawyer and amateur mixed-martial arts fighter, would become the first ever openly gay member of the Kansas congressional delegation, as well as the first female Native American lawmaker in Washington.

Republican leaders condemned their colleague's words after being contacted by The Star.

Jim Joice, the executive director of the Kansas GOP, criticized the local official.

"This is the same type of rhetoric we condemn the left for," Joice said. "We must be better than this."

In an interview Tuesday, Pritchett said the message could have been a response to messages she had left in comments on Yoder's Facebook page.

"I'm stunned," Pritchett said of Kalny's message.

Davids responded that the message "doesn't represent Kansas values, and it doesn't represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign."

Reached by phone, Kalny identified himself as a GOP precinct committeeman in Kansas. Precinct committee members are elected positions that represent political parties on a precinct's behalf.

When asked about the message, he asked, "What is this lady trying to accomplish?" It was not clear who he was referring to.

When questioned further about whether he wrote the message, he said he needed to talk to his attorney and hung up.

In recent months, Kalny had also served on the board of directors for the Kansas City Barbeque Society, said executive director Carolyn Wells.

But that ended Monday night around the same time Kalny's message about Davids began circulating. The group said Kalny resigned for "personal reasons."

C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Yoder, denounced Kalny's comments.

"Kevin (Yoder) doesn't believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It's unacceptable," Grover said. "These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop."

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