Election 2024

Carl Paladino said kids are “brainwashed” to think gay people are equal. He’s running for Congress.

Carl Paladino
Carl Paladino Photo: Screenshot

Carl Paladino, the Trump-loving anti-LGBTQ Buffalo businessman and one-time Tea-Party candidate for New York governor, is running for office again.

Paladino announced he’ll run to fill Chris Jacobs’ seat in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Jacobs abandoned his re-election bid after expressing support for a federal assault weapons ban in the wake of the recent Buffalo shooting massacre.

Related: GOP politician says Uvalde shooter was “transgendering” so there’s no reason to “ban AR-15s”

Paladino has a long history of racist and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

While running for governor in 2010 against Andrew Cuomo, Paladino infamously claimed at an appearance with Hasidic leaders in Brooklyn, “My children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option—it isn’t.”

Paladino also slammed Cuomo for taking his daughters to that year’s Pride Parade: “Have you ever been to one? The men wear little Speedos and they grind on each other. Would you take your children there? I don’t think so.”

In that same race, racist email chains attributed to Paladino revealed images of Africa tribesmen dancing entitled “Obama Inaugaration Rehearsal” [sic], one showing chimpanzees doing an Irish dance called “proof the Irish discovered Africa,” and another depicting bestiality.

Also in 2010, Paladino ran a radio ad calling for the destruction of the mosque being built near the World Trade Center site, making it “a war memorial instead of a monument to those who attacked our country.”

In 2016, Paladino, then Trump’s New York state campaign chair, called for hanging a Republican convention delegate for treason because she opposed Trump’s nomination.

He also tweeted that New York Attorney General Loretta Lynch should be lynched, and falsely claimed in an interview with the New York Observer that President Barack Obama was a secret Muslim.

In 2017, Paladino was sued along with Trump-whisperer Roger Stone for an anonymous flyer campaign that called a Libertarian candidate a “sick twisted pervert” who supported pedophilia.

That same year, Paladino was fired from the Buffalo School Board when his answers to an alt weekly’s New Years survey came to light: Paladino hoped “Obama catches mad cow disease” and Michelle is returned “to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.” 

Fellow Republican New Yorker Rep. Elise Stafanik wasted no time endorsing him.

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