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YES! Weekly: Racialized remark about marriage amendment attributed to state senator's wife

-by Jordan Green

May 1, 2012- Chad Nance, a Winston-Salem freelance journalist who is currently active in electoral campaigning, says poll workers outside the early voting site at the Forsyth County Government Center in downtown Winston-Salem reported to him that the wife of NC Sen. Peter Brunstetter remarked today that her husband sponsored legislation to put the marriage amendment on the primary ballot “to protect the Caucasian race.”

Nance said he recorded a conversation with the woman, whose name is Jodie Brunstetter, on video, and that she confirmed that she used the term “Caucasian” in a discussion about the marriage amendment, but insisted that otherwise her comments had been taken out of context by other poll workers.

Nance until recently served as campaign manager for Matt Newton, a Democratic candidate for the 12th Congressional District. Nance announced on Facebook today that he was resigning from the campaign because of Nance’s reaction to his plans to publicize Jodie Brunstetter’s alleged remarks. The Newton campaign has not responded to an e-mail request for comment about the resignation.

Nance has been working as a volunteer poll worker for the campaign of NC House candidate Ed Hanes Jr. and the campaign against the marriage amendment. He is a primary source for an unrelated story published by YES! Weekly about efforts to manipulate Democratic voters for the benefit of a favored slate of candidates. Nance said an African-American poll worker identified only as “Michael” initially told him about Jodie Brunstetter’s alleged remarks during a conversation with opponents of the marriage amendment.

Nance paraphrased the remarks, as told to him by those who were present: “During the conversation, Ms. Brunstetter said her husband was the architect of Amendment 1, and one of the reasons he wrote it was to protect the Caucasian race. She said Caucasians or whites created this country. We wrote the Constitution. This is about protecting the Constitution. There already is a law on the books against same-sex marriage, but this protects the Constitution from activist judges.”

Nance said he recruited a friend, who works for the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families, to witness his interview with Jodie Brunstetter. He said Brunstetter reluctantly acknowledged that she had used the term “Caucasian” and then repeated the statement previously attributed to her, but substituted the pronoun “we” for “Caucasian. Nance said Brunstetter insisted there was nothing racial about her remarks, but could not explain why she used the term “Caucasian.”

A phone message left at the Brunstetter residence in Lewisville was not immediately returned. Peter Brunstetter has served in the state Senate since 2006, when he was appointed to replace the late Ham Horton. Brunstetter has no primary opponent, but will face Democrat Delmas Parker in the November general election.



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