Calls for Candice Keller to resign after her Facebook comments on mass shootings

(The New York Times)

The chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party has called for the resignation of state Republican Candice Keller, after comments made on a Facebook page.

Ohio Republican Party chairwoman Jane Timken says Candice Keller should resign. 

Ms Keller is a fellow Republican who said mass shootings were the result of such factors as “homosexual marriage,” “drag queen advocates” and “recreational marijuana.”

Ms Keller made the remarks in a Facebook post, which is no longer visible to the public, after the mass killings in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday.

She wrote that “liberals start the blame game” after every mass shooting, but “why not place the blame where it belongs?”

Crowds gather for a prayer vigil in downtown Dayton for the victims of a shooting in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio.
Crowds gather for a prayer vigil in downtown Dayton for the victims of a shooting in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio.

In the post, Ms Keller, 60, who represents Butler County, a suburban and rural area about 30 miles southwest of Dayton, listed several factors that she said had led to mass shootings.

Among those, she included “professional athletes who hate our flag and National Anthem,” “snowflakes who can’t accept a duly-elected President” and a culture “which totally ignores the importance of God.”

Ms Keller’s inflammatory remarks drew widespread anger online. The post spurred both Democrats and Republicans to denounce her statements.

“Candice Keller’s Facebook post was shocking and utterly unjustifiable,” Ms Timken said in a statement. “Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness. I am calling on Candice Keller to resign.”

Calls and emails to Ms Keller on Monday evening seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Michael Ryan, the Republican vice mayor of the city of Hamilton, which is in Butler County, said on Twitter that Keller’s post was “a ridiculous statement to make.”

“This isn’t a time for politics,” he said. “This is a time for grieving, coming together and healing.”

Chris Seelbach, a Democratic councilman in Cincinnati who is gay and married, urged people on Twitter to call Keller to “let her know what you think.”

The Enquirer, in Cincinnati, described Ms Keller, a candidate for state Senate in 2020, as the “most conservative politician in the room.” The newspaper said that she had derided teenage gun control activists after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, compared Planned Parenthood workers to Nazis and pushed to ban sanctuary cities.

By Mariel Padilla © 2019 The New York Times

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