A candidate for the Forsyth County Board of Education has apologized after controversial statements made on Twitter surfaced and spread across social media this weekend.
Over the weekend, several tweets by Bibi Lopez, who is running against Lindsey Adams for the District 5 seat, appeared on social media. In a statement, Lopez said the tweets, which date back to 2013, were “insensitive” and alleged that it was supporters of his opponent who made them public just days before the June 9 primary.
“Over the weekend my opponent and their professional team of political consultants posted insensitive comments that I have made in the past on social media,” Lopez said. “I have publicly apologized for the insensitive comments and am greatly ashamed and saddened by the hurt I caused. I am [a] newbie to politics. I am not [a] professional politician I did not hire consultants. I ran my campaign by myself. Zero funding. I did not hire consultants that hide the skeletons or scrub backgrounds to give an illusion of perfection. I am [an] imperfect person. We all are in our own way.”
The tweets contained offensive and derogatory statements, such as saying there was “too much eye candy at school orientation.” The statements appear to have been made several years ago, and the account they were posted on no longer exists.
Lopez said “being vilified on the campaign is ... unfair since people react calling me misogynist all placed out as [a] political hit job before the election.”
“I am simply a humble person that ran to make a difference,” Lopez said. “Good people do not run for politics because many times the opposition resorts to childish destructive tactics in Forsyth County. By engaging in politics of destruction we are telling good people or anybody not to run for office.”
In her own post on Facebook, Adams said she was in “utter shock” to see the comments and urged Lopez to drop out of the race.
“I initially did not think they were real due to the graphic and vile context." Adams wrote. "As a mother of two young girls, who I am raising to value their inner beauty, strength, and God-given gifts - and as a mother of two young boys, who I am raising to honor their sisters and female friends, and to stand against sexism and to defend the worthiness of women -- I will not remain silent about the disgraceful, degrading, and appalling words published on social media by my opponent.”
On Monday afternoon, Patrick Bell, chair of the Forsyth County Republican Party, disavowed Lopez's comments.
"The comments were inappropriate, degrading to women and, due to the content, of great concern," Bell said in a statement. "The Forsyth County Republican Party does not get involved in individual races. However, it is important to strongly state, the Forsyth County Republican Party does not condone (in any way) the comments and they do not reflect the values of our local party nor the Republican Party as a whole."
Lopez and Adams are facing off in the Republican primary for the BOE seat held by Nancy Roche since 2001. No Democrat qualified for the race, meaning the winner of the primary will be the next to hold the seat.