SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky Republican, shunned even by his own party for posting images on Facebook depicting President Barack Obama as a monkey, held a defiant press conference during which he declined to apologize or suspend his campaign for the statehouse.
Dan Johnson, a Bullitt County preacher running for a seat in the state House of Representatives, maintained on Tuesday that the images were not racist.
Johnson is running against incumbent Democrat Linda Belcher in the state’s 49th district, which includes part of Bullitt County just south of Louisville.
The Republican Party of Kentucky had asked him to drop out of the race, saying his posts “represent the rankest sort of prejudice present in our society.”
Johnson said black pastors and black legislators have voiced their support for his candidacy, though he refused to name them.