A Louisiana school board candidate facing a runoff election next month is defending a series of inflammatory Facebook posts he made over the past several months, reported KATC-TV.
“Coach Don” Gagnard, who’s running for District 1 Lafayette Parish School Board, used widely understood racial and homophobic slurs on the social media site to express his frustration with "faggots, bums, illegal aliens, Veterans mistreatment and most of all: OUR HITLER PRESIDENT.”
"OUR PRESIDENT HATES OUR COUNTRY AND YOU ARE REDISTRIBUTING PEOPLES MONEY TO AFRICANS," Gagnard posted Aug. 11.
In another post, from June 27, the candidate complained "others have to pay for the idiots because they are too lazy to do something for themselves except pass the blame on white people.”
He also claimed in a Sept. 29 post that global warming was a communist plot to keep Americans from getting good jobs and, thus, remaining free of "government control."
Gagnard, who has deactivated his Facebook page ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff against Mary Morrison, also urged President Barack Obama to "go away and bring your urangutan (sp) with you."
The candidate admits to making the comments, and he doesn’t deny hating gay people, “bums,” and illegal immigrants.
But he denied antipathy toward black people, saying “coaches are not racists.”
"I've bailed black people out of jail and bought them trucks," Gagnard told the station. "If you call me a racist, that's going to flip back on you. But the f*ggot thing -- yeah, you can stick with that."
Gagnard garnered more than 36 percent of the vote in last week’s election, setting up a runoff against Morrison, who received more than 44 percent of the vote.
He changed his party affiliation shortly before the Nov. 4 election, switching from Republican to independent.
“I don’t want to be a Democrat or a Republican, I want to be me,” Gagnard said. “If I say I am Republican, people will profile me and say, ‘Oh, he represents this.’ If I say I’m a Democrat, they’ll say, ‘Oh, he represents that.’”
The longtime coach and educator said he hoped his social media posts wouldn't distract from his interest in helping others.
"I'm here to help my people -- poor people," he said. "There should be a party called the 'Triple P,' Poor People Party."