Republican Illinois state legislature candidate Burt Minor is catching heat from his own party for alleged comments he made against Republican state attorney general candidate Erika Harold, Politico reports.
Minor has been accused of calling Harold a "lesbo" and the n-word during conversations with her, which has caused Illinois governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois’ Republican House floor leader, Peter Breen, to demand that he drop out of the race. Minor is running for the 42nd District state representative seat.
Breen wrote a letter to fellow Republicans this morning, detailing the conversation, which happened last fall.
“[Minor] asked Ms. Harold personal questions about her marital status, and even her sexual orientation, going so far as to inquire whether she was a ‘lesbo,’" Breen wrote. “The chairman also used the full n-word repeatedly in front of Ms. Harold and her assistant, asking whether she found its usage offensive.”
Harold's campaign co-signed Breen's allegations.
According to the campaign's spokesman, Jason Heffley, Harold replied to Minor's "lesbo" questioning with, “No, and that’s offensive.”
Minor, however, has denied the allegations.
“Absolutely not," Minor told Politico. "No, no. I talked with Erika last night, in fact. We're friends, we support and respect each other. There was never any inappropriate [conversation]. That word never came out of my mouth and it wouldn't.”
Harold, an African American woman, is the GOP pick for the attorney general position, and a former Miss America.
"Erika Harold is a star attorney and candidate who is a bright part of the future of the Republican Party of Illinois," noted Rauner campaign spokesman Will Allison. "Burt Minor's racist and demeaning language has no place in the GOP or our society. He should drop out of the race."
Breen added, “He’s not fit to be a Republican nominee for office, especially not the General Assembly. His conduct was outrageous.”