CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Three Democrat delegates are calling upon Republican leadership to take action against Republican Delegate John Mandt Jr. of Cabell County. Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio), Delegate Cody Thompson (D-Randolph) and Delegate Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia) say Mandt has displayed a pattern of bigotry and discrimination.
“Bigots should not be serving in the legislature, let alone, sitting on powerful committees which directly impact the very people that Delegate Mandt continues to discriminate against,” House Minority Whip Fluharty said. “Republican leadership should immediately revoke Delegate Mandt’s committee assignments instead of condoning his message of hate.”
“Sadly, his hate-filled and homophobic social media posts are becoming a recurring theme,” Thompson stated. “I am deeply concerned about his obsession with restricting rights of people like me in the LGBTQ+ community,” he continued. “The Legislature needs to pass the Fairness Act now to show the rest of the country and the world that all Mountaineers are free, valued, and respected.”
After several controversial social media posts during his first term of office beginning in 2019, Mandt sparked new division with a post defending his past anti-LGBTQ and negative comments toward Muslims last week.
“Each of us have our own truths, but when your words are discriminatory, prejudice and racist, each of us must take a stand,” Walker said. “Legislators must stand for the intersectionality of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community. It is disrespectful to boast that Black History Month shouldn’t be inclusive,” she stated.
“I am Black, and I want to educate and empower my colleagues and fellow Mountaineers about Black LGBTQ+ pioneers including James Baldwin, Lori Lightfoot, Andrea Jenkins, Ron Oden, Barbara Jordan, and many more,” Delegate Walker continued. “Delegate Mandt’s words show us why the Legislature needs implicit bias training and anti-racist training.”
The Democratic Caucus in the House recently participated in implicit bias training through the Charleston YWCA and have asked Republican legislators to do the same.