Virginia vice mayor slurs Buttigieg on Facebook Live — then insists he wasn't being anti-gay
Pete Buttigieg speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

A vice mayor for a small town in Virginia is receiving attention from across the nation after calling U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg a derogatory term based on his sexuality during his weekly Facebook Live show on Feb. 15.

Jim Wood, the Vice Mayor of Waynesboro, Virginia, hosts the Facebook Live show from his own page every Wednesday, and the show is not connected to his political position or the City of Waynesboro. Waynesboro has a population of 22,550 people.

Wood's show, "Conservative Conversations with Friends Around the World" was covering the topic of the recent train derailment in Ohio, when Wood used it as an opportunity to use word play on Buttigieg's name and his sexuality, as the first openly gay individual to serve on a presidential cabinet position.

"Look at Ohio right now at this train derailment," Wood said during the live video post. "You know the staff that ol' Pete Buttplug or whatever his name is, is telling everybody, you know, don't pay attention to that over there, that's no big deal, oh wait a minute, that's Trump's fault."

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In a text message response in an interview with the News-Leader, Wood said the derogatory term he used in place of Buttigieg's last name had nothing to do with his sexuality.

"It was a play on his name only," Wood said. "His lack of action in helping people affected by the train derailment in Ohio was the topic of conversation. Nothing was said about his personal life."

Wood won his Ward D seat in Waynesboro by only 17 votes in November.