Official Who Said Whites Are 'Master Race' Must Resign, Kansas Governor Says

Monday, November 19th 2018, 3:45 pm
By: News 9

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has called on a white county official to resign after the official said at a public meeting that he belongs to "the master race." Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp cited the master race - the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy - at a board meeting Tuesday while responding to a presentation by a black official, Triveece Penelton, on road development options in Tonganoxie, just west of Kansas City.

Colyer, a Republican, says in a statement Saturday that the remark was unacceptable. He says: "Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society and most especially when spoken by someone holding public office."

Some members of the county commission also have called on Klemp to resign. Klemp, who was appointed to fill a Republican vacancy, told KSHB-TV off camera that his comment was a joke.

CBS affiliate KCTV reports that Commissioner Bob Holland said the bizarre observations had nothing to do with the agenda.

"What's this master race?" Bob Holland said. "None of us are master race. We're all American and we're all human beings."

However, Leavenworth County Administrator Mark Loughry released a statement, saying the comments had to do with the fact that both Klemp and the woman he was addressing have gaps in their front teeth.

"On several occasions over the past year Mr. Klemp has made reference that those with a gap in their front teeth are members of the master race," Loughry said. "At Tuesday's meeting he stated that he and the lady presenting to the Board were both members of the master race due to the gap in their teeth." 

Loughry added: "The use of the term 'Master Race,' as ill-advised as it may be, was not a reference to Nazis or used in a racist manner in this instance."  

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.