Rep. Jon Hardister, a Guilford County lawmaker and the majority whip, has disavowed a fellow Republican state House candidate who recently came under scrutiny for white supremacist comments, calling on him to withdraw from the race.
The News & Observer reported on Wednesday that Russell Walker, the Republican nominee in House District 48, is responsible for a website that says, “What is wrong with being a white supremacist? God is a racist and a white supremacist.”
Hardister wrote on the Greater Greensboro Politics Facebook page on Thursday: “I totally disavow this kind of rhetoric. It is shameful. He should totally apologize and drop out of the race.”
Hardister could not immediately be reached for this story.
The NC Republican Party officially withdrew support from Walker on Tuesday, according to the News & Observer. The newspaper quoted state GOP chairman Robin Hayes as saying, “Based on recent behavior and previous statements, the North Carolina Republican Party is unable and unwilling to support the Republican nominated candidate for North Carolina House District 48. The NCGOP along with our local parties in Hoke, Scotland and Robeson counties will be spending our time and resources supporting Republican candidates that better reflect the values of our party.”
Walker faces Democratic incumbent Garland Pierce in the general election. Pierce has represented the heavily Democratic district for seven terms. The last time he was opposed, in 2010, he won with 74.8 percent of the vote. Walker won the Republican primary this year with 824 votes, compared to 447 to opponent John W. Imbaratto.
Challenged on the Greater Greensboro Politics thread to take a stronger stance against Walker’s white supremacist ideology, Hardister wrote, “His comments were deeply disturbing. I’d say the man needs to seek professional help.”