WINSTON-SALEM — The Republican mayoral candidate in Winston-Salem pulled out of the race Tuesday after local party leaders withdrew their support when he admitted using a racial slur and derogatory term in describing a black county elections worker.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports James Lee Knox issued a statement saying the decision by county Republican leaders makes his bid for mayor impossible.
Knox's campaign manager said that Knox didn't want to put his family through what he saw as a conflict with GOP leaders that could only escalate.
The withdrawal means the winner of the Democratic primary between incumbent Allen Joines and Gardenia Henley won't face opposition in November.
Knox, who is white, acknowledged using the racial slur after the 2012 election as he was trying to find out the name of a black elections employee with whom he had exchanged words during early voting. He said that while talking to another county worker, he referred to the woman using derogatory terms, including the n-word.
"A person who talks like that and is crude in that fashion just doesn't represent who we are as a party, and we can't endorse someone like that," said Scott Cumbie, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party.
On Monday, Knox said he was planning to appeal the local GOP's decision to the state level. Singletary said that the state GOP wasn't going to get involved.
Singletary also said that Knox was accused last Thursday of posting derogatory comments on his Facebook page.
Knox accused GOP leaders of using his Facebook comments as an excuse to allow incumbent Democratic Mayor Allen Joines to run without opposition. He said the kinds of Facebook comments that he was criticized for were "comments that Republicans make."