N.C. State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, who Tuesday condemned a Facebook post by a Charlotte mayoral candidate. Chris Seward cseward@newsobserver.com

By Jim Morrill, The Charlotte Observer

The chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party Tuesday condemned a Facebook post from a Charlotte Republican candidate who listed one of her qualifications as being “white.”

“VOTE FOR ME!” mayoral candidate Kimberley Paige Barnette had posted. “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”

“Any suggestion that a candidate is more or less qualified for political office based on their skin color alone, is offensive to North Carolina Republicans and we condemn it,” GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement. “This type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse.”

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Barnette, 53, has removed the post, which quickly went viral.

Barnette could not be reached Tuesday.

She’s running in the Sept. 12 primary against city council member Kenny Smith and Gary Dunn.

In a WTVI debate last month, Barnette criticized last September’s Charlotte protesters. She called the protests “an expression of Democratic behavior.”

Asked how the city could help its lower-income residents, Barnette said, “I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to (come to) Charlotte… We should attract higher-income people.”

Smith called Barnette “a fringe candidate.” He said her post “adds to the divisiveness we’ve seen. … She is boosting name ID with sort of absurd campaign tactics.”

It’s rare for a political party, especially a state party, to weigh in on a local primary. But Hayes suggested he had no choice.

“We believe that bringing people together starts with the Republican belief that government should deliver critical government services in a colorblind way,” he said, “and in a society that judges all people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.’’

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