RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two members of the North Carolina State House of Representatives resigned from their leadership positions on Thursday after making comments related to race and abortion.
CBS 17 previously reported on May 17 that during a debate on expanding the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, Rep. Jeff McNeely (R-Iredell) asked Rep. Abe Jones (D-Wake) if he could have gotten into Harvard had Jones not “been an athlete or a minority.”
“Would you have been able to, maybe, achieve this if you were not an athlete or a minority?” asked McNeely.
“Hopefully I wasn’t the only one that got shocked by that comment, that the only reason you went to Harvard was because you were Black and an athlete?” Jones asked back.
McNeely then replied, “I did not say that. I said did that end up being one of the reasons. I do not know that. I asked him this. I asked him.”
“When I graduated from Harvard, I was ranked [number] 2. So, I earned my place, and I did well,” said Jones while House members applauded.
McNeely apologized for his comment and Jones accepted the apology.
Last week during an abortion veto override vote, Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Pamlico) made a comment about Rep. Diamond Staton-Williams (D-Cabarrus) “going to the Church of Satan” after she shared her abortion experience.
In a statement to CBS 17, Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne) confirmed that Kidwell and McNeely resigned from their leadership positions.
“Today it was announced on the House floor that Rep. Keith Kidwell and Rep. Jeff McNeely have resigned their appointed Deputy Whip positions. As elected officials, we must serve by example and be accountable for our actions, especially as leaders in the caucus. While apologies have been made and accepted, we believe this is an appropriate action and step forward. The House Republican Caucus remains united as we work towards our shared goals this legislative session.”