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Youngkin’s LGBTQ board pick vows to stop crude tweets

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RICHMOND — One of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s appointees to the state LGBTQ+ Advisory Board promised to tone down his language on social media Monday after a news report highlighted a series of crude tweets he had authored.

Youngkin (R) recently appointed Casey Flores, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond, to the board, effective July 1. On Monday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Flores had used profane and vulgar language on the platform to disparage people in a series of tweets over the past two years.

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His targets included national political figures — lobbing profanity at President Biden, for instance, and suggesting that Vice President Harris had advanced her career by performing a sex act. Flores also used harsh language while tangling over politics with ordinary Twitter users, calling one “a fat, racist, self-hating white” in an exchange in January.

In an interview with The Washington Post Monday, Flores stood by the tweets even as he pledged to change his tone — something he’d promised a Youngkin Cabinet secretary, who’d called and asked him to use more restraint in response to the newspaper’s findings.

“I don’t think there are any particularly controversial tweets there,” he said. “I’m not lying about anything.”

Flores defended his tweet about Harris in particular, saying it was based on the vice president’s past relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. (Brown published an op-ed in 2019, as Harris was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying that they’d dated and that he “may have influenced her career” by appointing her to two commissions, but that the two things were unrelated.)

“Where’s the lie in that?” Flores said. “She had an affair with a politician as she worked her way to the top and then he helped elevate her.”

Harris has previously defended her work on the commissions and said raising questions about her association with Brown is sexist.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kay Coles James, who is responsible for vetting Youngkin’s appointees, phoned Flores and urged him to adopt a more professional tone, Flores said.

“I had the secretary of the commonwealth call me, and talk to me, and said, ‘You represent the governor now. We ask that you don’t do those tweets,’ ” Flores said. “And that’s totally fine.”

Flores’s tweets stand in contrast to Youngkin’s especially strait-laced image. While running for governor last year, he kept a “cuss jar” in his campaign headquarters that foul-mouthed staffers had to pay into. As governor, he opens Cabinet meetings with prayer.

Youngkin’s spokeswoman Macaulay Porter confirmed that James asked Flores to tone it down on Twitter but otherwise declined to comment. Porter said James was not immediately available for an interview.