Hampton electoral official accused of ‘abhorrent and unacceptable racist language’ resigns

David Dietrich, chair of the Electoral Board in Hampton, Virginia, has resigned after his social media posts using violent and racist language came to light on Thursday, leading Gov. Glenn Youngkin to call for his removal.

In a statement, Rebecca Winn, vice-chair of the electoral board, confirmed that Dietrich stepped down from his post on Saturday afternoon. By Saturday evening, Deitrich’s name had been removed from the board’s official website.

On Thursday, Hampton’s Electoral Board had asked Deitrich to resign after social media posts from Feb. 17, 2021, came to light.

In those posts, the board said Deitrich used “abhorrent and unacceptable racist language,” to disparage Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Nancy Pelosi and Russel Honore in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

According to a previous statement, the board said Deitrich originally refused to step down from his post after being confronted with the inflammatory posts.

On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Glenn Youngkin used Twitter to call for Dietrich’s removal from the board.

In his tweet, Youngkin stated it was his responsibility to “serve all Virginians” and would not accept racism in the Commonwealth, or the Republican party.

“The abhorrent words of a Hampton Roads official are beyond unacceptable and have no place in Virginia,” Youngkin said on Saturday. “It’s time to resign.”

In a statement, Winn said that the Republican party would thoughtfully decide how to fill the vacant seat left by Deitrich.

“I look forward to working together in unity as a Board to oversee and carry out our elections and protect the rights of ALL of our Voters,” Winn said.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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