CABELL COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Another twist in the story of a West Virginia House Delegate’s election day comeback after anti-gay comments forced him to resign occurred Sunday night.
It started as an apology, but it’s taken on a life of it’s own.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m. Sunday night, West Virginia Delegate John Mandt Jr. of the 16th district posted a statement to Facebook.
It addresses his previous anti-gay slurs in a chat which caused him to resign from the House this fall.
His statement tried to explain why he said what he did, stating in part:
“Yes, I said it privately answering a question. I would never say anything to hurt anyone.”Del. John Mandt Jr., (R) Cabell, District 16
Reactions to this post were mixed.
On Facebook, the comments were mostly supportive of the delegate.
However, some people who spoke with 13 News say they aren’t convinced Mandt’s social media post was sincere.
“There’s no integrity. No trust. If you can’t take a person for their word, then what do you base anything on?”Bebe Meadows, Cabell County resident
“Everyone makes mistakes, but like I said for the position he’s in I don’t think it’s enough because if he’s a politician then people believe what he says and he has supporters.”Nathan Pownall, Cabell County resident
“Besides the statement, I think you should really show that you apologize maybe helping in a way that you can more be proactive than just a statement in Facebook about apologizing.”Rosalynn Quinones, works in Cabell County
Fellow 16th District Delegate Sean Hornbuckle says he and Mandt have a good working relationship, but he thinks the dialogue shouldn’t end here.
“As the public, as people, that we should give him a second chance but he also has to prove it. I think that the way he can prove it as a legislator is through good policy.”Del. Sean Hornbuckle, (D) Cabell, District 16
President and founding member of Huntington Pride Ally Layman echoes Hornbuckle’s idea.
“Actions speak louder than words… If words are true, then supporting myself as a constituent would be amazing and fighting for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in district 16 would be amazing to have a lot more support with the Fairness Act.”Ally Layman, president and founding member, Huntington Pride
Delegate John Mandt Jr. declined to be interviewed, but told 13 News he has already taken his oath of office and intends to take the position his constituents elected him to.