Though she got high marks as a pro-life advocate, political newcomer Kathy Barnette has seen her support dwindle as conservatives scrutinize her record.
Questions surrounding Barnette's credibility for Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination, with the primary election set for next Tuesday, have risen sharply after she seemed to be leapfrogging in polls.
Barnette's comments in recent years have included claiming unrest in the "Black community" was due to "white racism."
And the protests — that often times turned violent — over the death of George Floyd "were for a very good reason," she said.
Surprisingly, Barnette also has criticized the nation’s first president, saying she "heard white people talking about the high and mightiness of George Washington, a former slave owner."
Just two years ago, Barnette led a petition drive to build a statue to former President Barack Obama and his family.
She said the statue would "serve as an example of how far we have come as a nation."
Barnette has not always been a Trump supporter.
In Twitter posts she made from 2015 and 2016, she refers to Trump as "scary," and in an exchange with a Trump supporter declared, "We should demand a higher moral character than d crackhead down d street."
On Thursday, former President Donald Trump, who has strongly endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz in the race, issued a statement that appeared to be a 911 call to Pennsylvania Republicans.
"Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats," he wrote.
"She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party — and I will be behind her all the way."
Barnette has climbed into second place in a Real Clear Politics average of polls behind the front-runner Oz, who leads the seven-candidate field with 23.3% of the vote.
Trump has stated he has known Oz for a long time, and that he stands behind his conservative bona fides.
He also said Oz is the only GOP candidate that can win the Senate seat come November in Democrat Pennsylvania.
Barnette, who resides in the Philadelphia suburb of Huntingdon Valley, ran for Congress in 2020 and lost to Democrat Madeleine Dean for Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District by 19 percentage points.
Since then, Barnette re-emerged as a MAGA advocate in the past year as a frequent guest of Steve Bannon on his internet program "War Room."
"Kathy lost big to a weak Democrat and would lose even more to John Fetterman — giving Democrats another seat in the Senate," GOP Senate candidate Carla Sands, a former Trump ambassador, said during Newsmax's May 4 debate at Grove City College.
"At a time when our conservative values and constitutional rights hang in the balance, we cannot afford to lose this seat."
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