Sery Kim said she didn't want Chinese immigrants coming to the United States.
GOP House hopeful Sery Kim filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Texas Tribune for $10 million, claiming the paper defamed her when it called her racist comments racist.
Kim, who is one of nearly a dozen Republicans running in a special election for a vacant U.S. House seat in Texas' 6th District, said at a candidate forum last Wednesday that she doesn't want Chinese immigrants coming to the United States.
"I don’t want them here at all," Kim, a former Donald Trump aide, said. "They steal our intellectual property, they give us coronavirus, they don’t hold themselves accountable."
She added, "And quite frankly, I can say that because I’m Korean."
Kim's racist comments came amid a growing outcry from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community over a spate of hate crimes they've faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 3, the Texas Tribune published a story with the headline: "GOP congressional candidate in Texas special election loses prominent supporters after racist comment about Chinese immigrants."
Kim is now suing, alleging that the Texas Tribune's use of the term "racist" exposed Kim to "contempt and ridicule, and has irreparably damaged her reputation causing sever financial harm."
"This is the ugly side of politics," Kim said in a news release. "Today it is designed to tear down lives and reputations rather than help get to the heart of serious issues to serve the people’s interests and build them up."
However, even members of Kim's own party condemned Kim for the remarks.
She lost the endorsement of two Korean-American Republican House members — California GOP Reps. Michelle Steele and Young Kim — over the comments.
Asian-American groups are also condemning Kim's words.
The Dallas Fort Worth Asian-American Citizens Council said in a statement that it "strongly condemns" Kim's comments, also labeling them as racist.
"Racist and ethnic slurs, regardless of the source, have no place in today’s society," the group said in a statement to NBC News. "Ms. Kim being of Korean descent does not give her license to use harmful language against Chinese or any other ethnic group."
Kim is running for a competitive Dallas-area seat that Trump only won by 3 points in 2020. The seat is vacant after GOP Rep. Ron Wright died after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Kim is facing off with 10 other Republican hopefuls, including Wright's widow and Dan Rodimer. Rodimer is a former professional wrestler who moved more than 1,200 miles across the country to run for the seat, just four months after losing another U.S. House race in Nevada.
The special election is scheduled to take place on May 1. All candidates, regardless of party, will run on the same ballot, with the two highest vote recipients advancing to a May 24 runoff.
A runoff is virtually guaranteed given the crowded nature of the field. Two recent polls of the race show that no candidate is near the 50% needed to win outright.
Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race a Leans Republican contest.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.