Stefanik-Backed Racist GOPer Carl Paladino Goes Down To Defeat

Carl Paladino listens during a hearing to determine if he can be removed from the Buffalo school board on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the State Education Building in Albany, N.Y. (AP photo/Will Waldron,Times Union)
Carl Paladino listens during a hearing to determine if he should be removed from the Buffalo school board on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the State Education Building, in Albany, N.Y. The state Education Department h... Carl Paladino listens during a hearing to determine if he should be removed from the Buffalo school board on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the State Education Building, in Albany, N.Y. The state Education Department hearing got underway Thursday for the one-time candidate for New York governor who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife and stands accused of disclosing confidential school board business. (Will Waldron /The Albany Times Union via AP) MORE LESS

Carl Paladino, the legendary New York Republican racist and politician, lost the Republican primary election to represent New York’s 23rd Congressional District Tuesday. 

Paladino, a real estate developer and Donald Trump’s New York campaign co-chair in 2016, is a former Buffalo Board of Education representative and failed New York gubernatorial candidate.

Endorsed by third-ranking Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) among others, Paladino faced off in the primary against — and ultimately lost to — Nick Langworthy, the chair of the New York Republican Party. 

The 23rd district is among the most conservative in New York, meaning Langworthy has a good shot at joining the next Congress. The seat opened up after incumbent Rep. Chris Jacobs said he would support certain gun reform measures — an unacceptable position in the modern GOP — and soon after announced he would not seek reelection.

Paladino is perhaps best known for being a font of racist comments — like in 2016, when, while serving on the Buffalo school board, he asserted, “I don’t think of myself in any way as a racist,” then said Black people were “held hungry and dumb so as to provide a base for the Democratic Party.” 

Perhaps Paladino’s most prominent racist tirade was when he wished that Barack Obama would die and Michelle Obama would be “return[ed] to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

Pressed by The Buffalo News about the comments, Paladino named a Black editor at the paper: “Tell that Rod Watson I made that comment just for him.” (The Buffalo Board of Education voted to oust Paladino over the comments, and he was ultimately removed by the state for publicly discussing confidential collective bargaining negotiations. .)

Langworthy has said he ran against Paladino in part because he was worried about Paladino dragging down other Republican candidates in New York, namely gubernatorial nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). 

“We’ve got the best shot to win in 20 years, and the three-ring circus that he brings to the table, with the way that he handles things and himself, will basically be held against every candidate in the state,” Langworthy told The New York Times earlier this month. 

Earlier this year, Paladino shared a Facebook post speculating that the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings were false flag events (he denied responsibility for sharing the post, saying “I don’t even know how to post on Facebook.”) He said separately that Adolf Hitler was “the kind of leader we need today.” 

“We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it, so that it’s not a strange new world to him,” the candidate added. Paladino later said, supposedly as a defense of his comments, that he was merely “repeating” something he’d heard on the radio. He attacked the media for implying he supported Hitler.

After FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, armed with a search warrant for missing federal records, Paladino said Attorney Merrick Garland “probably should be executed,” before saying he was being facetious.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: