WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Republican Jewish Coalition is withdrawing its support for a challenger to a Kentucky GOP gadfly after racist tweets by the challenger surfaced.
The RJC’s political action committee had donated $5,000 to the primary campaign of Todd McMurtry, who is facing off against Rep. Thomas Massie in a primary. It was a rare move last month when the PAC involved itself in the primary.
Massie’s campaign unearthed recent tweets by McMurtry in which he disparaged Mexicans and transgendered people, and decried the “demonization of white people.”
“The RJC has consistently spoken out against hate, bigotry, and racism,” the group said Friday on Twitter. “As a result of troubling comments that have come to light by congressional candidate Todd McMurtry which don’t share our values or the values of the GOP, we are asking for a refund & withdrawing our PAC support.”
Massie had angered the GOP establishment by invoking his prerogative to insist a majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives attend a vote on the pandemic stimulus after most had retreated to their homes because of the coronavirus. He had already been in the sights of Jewish Republicans for opposing Holocaust education funding and actions condemning the boycott Israel movement.
His contrarianism spurred condemnation by President Donald Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranked House Republican, donated to McMurtry, as did the RJC and other Republicans. McMurtry was well known in conservative circles as a lawyer for a high-schooler whose encounter on the National Mall with a Native American was depicted in some media as racist.
Cheney has since dropped her support for McMurtry and, like the RJC, has asked for her money back.