Mendocino County social media was abuzz Tuesday, October 6, 2020, reacting to a now-deleted Facebook post from Ukiah City Council candidate Jenny Kimbler whose campaign slogan is “Make Ukiah Great Again.” In the Facebook post from September 24, 2020, Kimbler comments on the death of Breonna Taylor, a Kentucky woman killed at the hands of police officers during a raid of her apartment that led to nation-wide protests. Kimbler blamed Taylor’s death on her boyfriend, argued protestors should be “stopped at all costs,” and advocated for the utilization of the National Guard to “shoot them” and “run them down.”
Since screenshots of the original post began to make rounds on local social media, Kimbler’s candidate Facebook page was flooded with negative reviews condemning her as racist and bigoted. One commenter stated Kimbler “advocates for violence without due process.” On the evening of October 6, the entire “Jenny Kimbler for Ukiah City Council” Facebook page was deleted.
MendoFever spoke with Kimbler via telephone for ten minutes on the 6th regarding the Facebook post. I took notes and was preparing to quote her unique perspective when she claimed she wanted to be off the record and had not understood that she would be quoted.
Knowing that she is new to making public statements and feeling the Facebook post captured enough of the flavor of her opinions, I have chosen not to quote what she said.
Cameron Ramos, a candidate running for one of two seats up for election in this year’s Ukiah City Council race,* responded to Kimber’s post saying, “I do not agree with Jenny Kimbler and her post, and believe that a person hoping to hold a public office should never make comments inciting violence as she did.”
Ramos believed Kimbler’s post going viral was emblematic of “what politics looks like on social media nowadays” saying, “[a]s a candidate running for public office you place yourself under a microscope, anything you do or say can and will be seen and heard by those you are hoping to represent.”
Steve Scalmanini, another candidate in this year’s Ukiah City Council race, said, “Provocative language like “light them up. Shoot them, run them down,” is irresponsible, to say the least.”
Scalmanini claimed to “support the Black Lives Matter movement, while I also decry the excesses of violence that have occurred in a handful of cities.” He noted, “The overwhelming majority of BLM events in the Country have been peaceful (including the two local demonstrations that I have attended, in Ukiah and Hopland.)”
Regarding the specifics of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, Scalmanin said, “There are details of the Breonna Taylor case that are still coming out, including additional evidence that justice has not been served. I reserve any personal judgment on the case until more evidence is known.”
*Cameron Ramos is a former student of this journalist.