Republican freeholder candidates in Gloucester are skipping a candidate breakfast held by the County Chamber of Commerce over social media posts made by the organization’s chair.
At issue is a Facebook comment exchange between Republican candidate Nick DeSilvio and Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce Chair Lisa Morgan Carney during which she invoked the candidate’s race.
“I don’t care how poor you were growing up, you grew up white,” Carney wrote. “If you gave a damn you should have joined the peaceful vigil tonight, but you stayed home I’m sure with your gun. That’s not solving the problem.”
The exchange appears to be related to protests over police killings of unarmed black men, though it’s not entirely clear that was the case, as Carney has since deleted or made private the post on which the exchange was made.
“While I encourage candidates to take every opportunity to meet voters, in this particular case I cannot see the upside in our candidates appearing at an event held by an organization led by a Chair who has already attacked one of our candidates on social media because of his race,” Republican campaign manager Steve Kush said.
Kush also pointed to Carney’s stance on President Donald Trump as a reason his candidates — DeSilvio, Chris Konawel and Greenwich Mayor George Shivery Jr. — would skip the Chamber event.
Carney is frequently critical of Trump on social media. She has attacked him as an “immoral conman” and hit him over his refusal to condemn the Proud Boys, a white supremacist group that has endorsed the president.
“I’ve discussed the situation with George, Chris and Nick. They agree, it is difficult to believe they would get a fair hearing from someone who has already taken an adversarial position with a member of the team,” Kush said.