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Kansas governor calls for resignation of official who said he was part of 'master race'

"Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office," said the Kansas governor.
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Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is calling for the resignation of a county commissioner who commented on being part of "the master race."

The remarks were made at a Tuesday board meeting by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp while responding to a Triveece Penelton, a black city planner, who was discussing a proposed development plan.

"The inappropriate remarks made by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of the county which he represents," Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a statement issued Saturday. "As such, I call on him to step down as county commissioner."

The City of Leavenworth issued a statement on Facebook Thursday saying that while city government has "no authority to remove Mr. Klemp," the "City Commission believes it is in the best interest of the Leavenworth community for Mr. Klemp to apologize and resign immediately."

But Klemp, who did not immediately respond to NBC News' requests for comment on the matter, told NBC Kansas City affiliate KSHB-TV that his comment was a joke.

Similarly, Leavenworth County Administrator issued a response to Klemp's remarks Friday saying that while he "will not attempt to defend Commissioner Klemp," the comments are "not a reference to Nazis."

"On several occasions over the past year, Mr. Klemp has made reference that those with a gap in their front teeth are members of the master race," administrator Mark Loughry said. "At Tuesday's meeting he stated that he and the lady presenting to the board were members of the master race due to the gap in their teeth."

Loughry said that while it is not within his power to take action against Klemp, he does believe the use of "master race" was "ill-advised."

"I am deeply sorry that one misconstrued comment by a member of our elected governing body has caused so much grief, sorrow and hatred," Loughry said.