Statement from Burt Minor on accusations of racist, sexist comments
A statement from 42nd Illinois House GOP candidate Burt Minor of Warrenville about accusations he used the N-word multiple times in a conversation in October with GOP candidate for attorney general Erika Harold and asked her first if she was married, then if she was lesbian. State Rep. Peter Breen, the Republican House floor leader who lives in Lombard, is circulating a memo asking others to withdraw support for Minor.
"Last October, I met with Erika Harold in my capacity as Winfield Township Republican Chairman, at her request, to discuss the challenges she might face in her campaign for the Republican nomination for Attorney General. Our meeting has been greatly misrepresented. Not all Republican voters are comfortable discussing issues of race and sexual orientation. I wish it were different, but it is a reality those of us active in the Republican Party's leadership
confront, not infrequently.
"My discussion with Erika was an attempt to point out this unfortunate reality, it was in no way meant to be offensive. I honestly left our meeting unaware that our conversation might have made Erika uncomfortable. My apologies to Erika if she was in any way offended. Erika is a great candidate who has a bright future in the Republican Party.
"Throughout my 23 years in the military, I worked alongside people of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds. We worked together to get the job done, and that is the way it should be. Period. Ironically, at the 2016 Illinois Republican State Convention I was vilified for defending fellow Republicans who were advocating for a more inclusive and tolerant Illinois Republican Party Platform.
"I was also upset with Gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives recent television advertisement. Interestingly, many of the individuals criticizing me over this misunderstanding remain silent about that disgustingly provocative television ad. The hypocrisy is stunning.
"Peter Breen and Kevin Fitzpatrick, who are attempting to capitalize on this misunderstanding for the benefit of one of my opponents, tried to bribe me months ago with the offer of a government job if I were to get out of this race. They told me that they wanted another candidate to win because Peter Breen would be able to control her. When I declined the offer, they said they would support my daughter if she were ever to run for higher office. This morning, when Peter sent his letter to the media he attempted to follow through on a promise to destroy my reputation.
"I completely understand the fierce reaction this misunderstanding has generated, but I wish those who rushed to judgment would have gotten all the facts first. I intend to discuss those facts and the many issues of importance to the residents of Illinois' 42nd District in the days leading up to Election Day. So there is no further misunderstanding, let me be clear, I believe there is no place for racism or intolerance in the Republican Party and the State of Illinois."
-- Burt Minor