CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Republican Delegate John Mandt resigned Saturday night, after making anti-gay slurs in a Facebook discussion group. The Speaker accepted the resignation, the Governor is going to name a replacement. But now Mandt has tweeted quote: “I’m still on the ballot and I’m listed at the top. I resigned for the remainder of this term which ends December 31… let’s follow the process and allow the voice of the people to be heard.” His decision to stay in the race is prompting outrage.
“No one supports this type of bigotry. It’s not popular at the polls in West Virginia. And they are going to pay the consequences if they don’t do something about it,” said Andrew Schneider, Fairness West Virginia.
“Yes, you know it’s disingenuous to say you’re removing yourself from the campaign and then asking for votes at the same time. Let’s just hope the good people of the 16th district do the right thing and send him back to his hot dog stand,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, Kanawha (D).
Mandt, who operates the “Stewart’s Hot Dog” restaurants in Cabell and Wayne counties, did not return our call seeking comment on his campaign continuing. Meanwhile, advocates for the LGBTQ community, say the Legislature needs to pass the Fairness Act, in response to Mandt’s behavior.
“Protect hard-working LGBTQ West Virginians from discrimination in employment, housing, and in public spaces. Make sure our community is protected when we seek medical care,” said Andrew Schneider, Fairness West Virginia.
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and other legislators also condemned Mandt’s anti-gay slurs.
“Whether former Delegate John Mandt aggressively campaigns for reelection remains to be seen. But the fact of the matter is this: his name remains on the ballot, there’s no way to change that, and people are already early voting by mail,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.