Louis Klemp drew nationwide controversy when he told a black woman at a public meeting that he was part of the “master race,” but the Kansas Republican is now resisting growing calls for him to resign.
The Leavenworth County commissioner made the remark at a public meeting this week, telling a woman who had made a presentation to the board that he belongs to a “master race” before insulting her looks. As Fox News noted, the remarks have led many to call on the Republican official to resign, including Republican Governor Jeff Colyer.
“Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office,” Colyer said in a statement released on Sunday. “The inappropriate remarks made by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of the county which he represents. As such, I call on him to step down as county commissioner.”
As Newsweek reported, Klemp’s insulting remarks to the woman appeared to be unprompted.
“I don’t want you to feel like I’m picking on you. Because we are part of the master race. You have a gap in your teeth,” said Klemp, who Fox News noted also has a gap in his teeth. “We are part of the master race, don’t you forget that.”
Louis Klemp resisted these early calls to resign his position, telling a reporter from KSHB-TV in an off-camera interview that it was meant to be a joke.
But the calls for Klemp to resign are growing louder, and even the Leavenworth City Commission has spoken out, saying it “denounces the use of ‘master race’ or any other language that has historic ties to racism, division and bigotry in any setting at any time.”
Klemp has not responded publicly to any of the calls for his resignation and has not said if he has any plans to leave his position.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) November 15, 2018
Klemp is no stranger to controversy. The longtime official, who was appointed to his most recent stint on the board by the county Republican party when another member fell ill and couldn’t complete his term, had previously expressed admiration for Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
While he has not yet announced any plans to resign, Louis Klemp will not be in the position much longer in any event. His term on the county body is set to expire in January.