Andrew Lewis, a GOP congressional candidate for Pennsylvania’s 11th District, has called upon his fellow challengers to boycott a local candidate forum after he discovered that the group hosting the event, Dauphin County Council of Republican Women (DCCRW), had invited a known anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and racist individual to take part in the conversation.
In 2017, Townhall interviewed Lewis, a 30-year-old combat veteran hoping to win the GOP congressional nomination for PA's 11th District. As mentioned in that article, he faces steep competition from several other legitimate challengers. But, Lewis remained confident that he had “strong grassroots support" and was “excited to carry this message and sign up as many voters as we can.”
He had hoped to explain his vision for a conservative, fiscally responsible federal government at the DCCRW Candidate Forum this upcoming Saturday. However, he rescinded his RSVP after learning that Sean M. Donahue, a known race-baiter who is currently on probation for harassing commonwealth employees via threatening e-mails, would also be in attendance. Lewis called upon his fellow candidates to refuse participation unless Donahue was uninvited. In a press release sent Tuesday, Lewis categorized Donahue as a "self-avowed white nationalist” that holds “anti-Semitic, pro-segregationist, and other disturbing and un-American views."
Indeed, Sean Donahue’s campaign website and social media posts expose his radical ideologies.
“The US was created for Americans who chose to worship God through Christianity. Freedom of Religion is for all forms of Christianity but nothing else, certainly not Islam, Voodoo or Satanic worship,” his campaign website says.
He has also shared numerous Facebook posts highlighting White Nationalist views. At one point, he lamented, "The only way to protect White civilization is to bring back racial segregation. Another post says, “Repeal the voting rights act so that only white people can vote." Various times on his Facebook page he has sympathized with, if not out right promoted, white nationalists like Richard Spencer and KKK members such as David Duke.
In Lewis' press release, the small business owner and father of three sharply rebuked Donahue and condemned the DCCRW for giving him a platform. “As someone who fought for my country in Iraq against radical Islam, and served in South Korea defending us and our allies from yet another extreme ideology and regime, I have decided to rescind my RSVP for the candidate forum and am calling on my fellow Republican candidates to do the same until the DCCRW has withdrawn Mr. Donahue's invitation to address the Republican audience," he said.
Adding, “Throughout modern history, this is a fight that the United States has taken up time and time again: We defeated the Nazis and Fascists in World War II, Communism during the Cold War, and most recently we have united in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.The views held by Sean Donahue are consistent with Nazi ideologies and this is unacceptable. Americans fight Nazis, we do not give them a platform to spread their hatred.”
Lewis, a strong supporter of President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, said that "Making America Great Again means making it great for all people." The grandson of Italian immigrants also emphasized that "The greatest thing about America is that here, no matter who you are, the color of your skin, or where you come from, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard you can become whoever you want to be and nobody can hold you back. It's called the American Dream, and that's what I'm fighting to restore across America.”
According to local media outlets, several GOP candidates still plan to attend. But for Lewis, he simply will not lower himself to partake in an event with Donahue. “I will not back down and will not share a stage with someone who seeks to deny the American Dream to others based on the color of their skin," he proclaimed.
It is unclear why Donahue was invited in the first place. He is technically not even a candidate yet, as he has not filed any of the necessary paper work. The forum is scheduled for this Saturday. At press time, the DCCRW had not responded for comment.