The governor of Kansas has added his name to the list of officials calling on a Leavenworth County commissioner to resign after he made a comment referring to the “master race” while addressing a black city planner earlier this week.
Gov. Jeff Colyer responded Saturday to the comments made by Louis Klemp, who is listed on the county’s website as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.
“Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office,” Colyer said in a statement. “The inappropriate remarks made by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of the county which he represents. As such, I call on him to step down as County Commissioner.”
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Klemp’s comment in question came during a board meeting Tuesday while Triveece Penelton, a city planner with the Kansas City consulting company Vireo, was explaining development options for the County Road 1 corridor south of Tonganoxie.
Klemp had made clear he wasn’t satisfied with the options presented by Penelton and a colleague.
The interaction was recorded in a video posted on the county’s YouTube channel.
“I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you, because, we’re part of the master race,” Klemp said, as he brought his fingers to his own teeth. “You know you got a gap in your teeth, you’re the masters, don’t ever forget that.”
Colyer’s statement Saturday came soon after other government officials and organizations condemned Klemp’s remarks.
Mark Loughry, the county’s administrator, said in a statement Friday that he believed Klemp’s remark was “misconstrued” and that Klemp’s “master race” reference “was not a reference to Nazis or used in a racist manner.”
Klemp did not respond to a request for comment.