Illinois GOP candidate pushed to drop out for allegedly using racial, gay slurs

Illinois GOP candidate pushed to drop out for allegedly using racial, gay slurs
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The Republican House floor leader in Illinois is calling on a candidate for the state legislature to drop out over accusations that he used racial and gay slurs against a candidate for attorney general.

Burt Minor, a GOP candidate for state representative in Illinois’s 42nd District, allegedly used the n-word in conversation with Erika Harold, an African-American GOP candidate for attorney general, and asked her if she was a “lesbo.”

Peter Breen, the GOP House floor leader, detailed the allegations in a letter to Republicans Thursday morning, according to Politico.

"[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 told Politico that Minor had made the comments in a conversation with Harold last fall, and that she told him at the time that it was “offensive.”

“Erika found it offensive and said it was offensive at the time,” a spokesman told Politico.

State Rep. Mark Batinick (R) is also calling for Minor to be removed from the ticket over the alleged comments.

“This sort of conduct does not belong in our party and will not be tolerated,” Batinick said, according to Politico. “He needs to immediately withdraw.”

Minor denied making the comments in an earlier interview with Politico, saying specifically that he did not use the term “lesbo” or the n-word.

“Absolutely not. No, no. I talked with Erika last night, in fact. We're friends, we support and respect each other,” he said. “There was never any inappropriate [conversation]. That word never came out of my mouth and it wouldn't.”

Minor, the Winfield Township chairman, is running to replace state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), who is challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in the March primary.