Carl Paladino was endorsed and strongly supported by House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik despite his long public record of bigoted statements.
Carl Paladino, a right-wing Republican businessman with a long history of making racist, sexist, and other offensive comments, narrowly lost a GOP primary for New York's 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday night despite backing from powerful Republicans in Washington.
Nick Langworthy, the chair of the New York State Republican Committee, defeated Paladino 52% to 48% with 95% of precincts reporting, according to Politico.
Paladino's litany of offensive comments include saying in 2016, as part of a list of things he hoped would happen the next year:
[President Barack] Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford [sic]. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret [sic], who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her. ... Michelle Obama. I'd like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.
In June of this year he called Adolf Hitler an "inspirational" leader.
Most recently, after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in search of highly classified documents he is believed to have removed from the White House, Paladino said that Attorney General Merrick Garland, who approved the search, should "probably should be executed," later claiming he was being "facetious."
Despite those comments and many more, Paladino was endorsed in his campaign for the House by fellow New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House GOP conference.
Stefanik continued to support Paladino, holding a telephone rally for him the day before the primary. Paladino was not among those candidates mentioned on her campaign website after the election results were announced.
Paladino was one of a number of right-wing extremists who narrowly lost primaries on Aug. 23.
Former Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman, who was defeated after one term in his primary run for reelection in 2020 and left the party after the riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, said the fact that Paladino and Loomer came close to winning is a troubling sign for the GOP.
"Losses by Paladino (endorsed by Elise Stefanik) and Laura Loomer (formerly endorsed by [Rep. Matt] Gaetz) are GOOD things — but these awful, radical scumbags received lots of support," Riggleman tweeted. "SITTING MEMBERS are or have supported these folks. Unhinged candidates are a disease. Crazy burns hot."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.