CLEVELAND – The Illinois Republican Party on Wednesday revoked the convention credentials of a Donald Trump delegate from Chicago “for publicly-made racist comments and threats of violence” on a Facebook posting.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider told the Sun-Times the party, “has zero tolerance for racism of any kind and threats of violence against anyone.”
The executive committee of the Illinois GOP party made the decision regarding Fifth Congressional District delegate Lori Gayne after party officials said she confirmed to them she was the author of the offending post, made under a different name.
Gayne was elected a Trump delegate in the March Illinois Republican Primary from the North Side district.
Gayne told the Sun-Times on Wednesday she wrote the post, after a reporter from the newspaper raised the matter with her on Tuesday evening, while she was with the Illinois delegation on the convention floor.
The Republican National Convention welcome party was thrown Sunday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Gayne wrote, over a photo of law enforcement officials on the roof on the iconic building on the Lake Erie shore:
“Our brave snipers just waiting for some “N—- to try something. Love them.”
She used an abbreviation for the racial slur.
Schneider, the state party chairman, said in a statement, “I condemn in the strongest terms the racist comments and threats of violence made by Ms. Gayne, a member of our delegation to the Republican National Convention. Ms. Gayne brought the statements to the attention of Illinois Republican Party staff after being contacted by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times,” Schneider said in statement.
“Let me be unequivocally clear — racism and threats of violence have absolutely no place in the Illinois Republican Party or in a civil and inclusive society.
“The Illinois Republican Party believes that inciting violence against anyone attending the RNC places state delegations, demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights, and law enforcement personnel needlessly in harm’s way. Therefore, I have consulted with the Executive Committee of the Illinois Republican Party and have revoked Ms. Gayne’s credentials as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.”
Gayne offered her “deepest apologies” in a statement, saying, “I strongly regret the offensive statements I recently made on social media. While I in no way intended to make racist or threatening statements, I now realize that they could be interpreted that way.
“I have the deepest respect for members of law enforcement and know that they put their lives on the line every day. I made the offensive statements in my attempt to applaud their courage in the face of protests. But I now realize that my statements were ignorant and intolerant, and they cannot be justified.
“The statements do not reflect my character or feelings toward minorities. As a Jewish woman, I know that racism of any kind is unjustifiable and hurtful, even when it’s not intended. I also know that violence is never the answer to political disagreements. I respect the decision of the Illinois Republican Party and understand their concerns about my safety and that of the entire Illinois delegation. Please accept my deepest apologies.”