First, a California Republican group refused to support Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-CA)’s exploratory bid to become governor. Now, Kansas lawmakers have voted against elevating state Rep. Virgil “Let’s Shoot Immigrants from Helicopters” Peck to the position of assistant majority leader. Republicans nationwide and at the state level are realizing that they must do better with the Latino vote and immigration, which means that they can no longer let extremists like Donnelly and Virgil Peck be the face of their party.
Here’s the story from John Celock at the Huffington Post today:
Rep. Virgil Peck (R-Tyro) lost his bid for assistant majority leader in a 63-29 vote to Rep. David Crum (R-Augusta) during a caucus meeting in Topeka Monday…
Peck lost votes between the first and second ballots for the assistant majority leader’s post, with the Republican receiving support from 34 GOP lawmakers on the first ballot, which also included Rep. Steve Huebert (R-Valley Center).
Peck’s defeat comes as Kansas legislators pick leaders following an election marked by a rise in conservative members in both houses of the state legislature.
Virgil Peck is most famous for comments he made last year, when he “joked” during a House Appropriations Committee meeting that a solution used for controlling wild pigs could be used on immigrants: “It looks like to me if shooting these feral hogs works, maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.”
Despite immediate uproar and a petition drawing 54,000 signatures demanding his resignation, Peck went on to defend his comments, saying that he was “just speaking like a southeast Kansas person.”
In a state already known for anti-immigrant architect Kris Kobach, the former immigration advisor to Mitt Romney and spearhead of the failed GOP immigration strategy, it’s no wonder Kansas lawmakers–even increasingly conservative ones–don’t want Virgil Peck speaking for them.