JOHN GRAY, the Republican nominee to chair the local governing body in Virginia’s second-largest locality, Prince William County, reveals himself in his tweets as a garden-variety bigot with the comic sensibility of a not-terribly-clever eighth grader. These are the tweets that he paid $30 to have deleted but that — oops — were easily unearthed by his Democratic opponent, who was tipped off by Mr. Gray’s own campaign finance report.

What’s less clear is why anyone would vote for Mr. Gray in Prince William, a jurisdiction of more than 460,000 whose well-educated residents live in one of the nation’s most prosperous and diverse localities.

The tweets from Mr. Gray are by turns unedifying, uninformed, false and inane, with some crass sophomoric sexual commentary — he “shrivels” at the thought of “doing the deed” with Hillary Clinton — and smirky racism thrown in for good measure. African Americans, Mr. Gray suggested, might take a knee and stop “rioting” if someone would only play the national anthem.


People who are non-Christians are a special target of tweeted contempt for Mr. Gray, an accountant in his late 60s . He labeled Gary Johnson “a moron” when the Republican-turned-Libertarian former New Mexico governor sent his best wishes to Indians on Diwali, a festival celebrated by a billion or so Hindus. Muslim men, he asserted falsely, have “the right to beat” their wives.

Then there’s Mr. Gray’s judicious take on impeaching President Trump, whose advocates — “bong and dildo holders,” he asserts — would be met with “300 million weapons and an estimated 2 billion rounds of ammo.”

Prince William has suffered similar buffoonery in public office for years under the auspices of Corey A. Stewart (At Large), the Republican chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, whom Mr. Gray hopes to succeed. Mr. Stewart, a champion of Confederate symbols, made his mark in 2007 by pushing through a measure empowering the police to racially profile and arrest anyone they suspected of being undocumented, even if that person had committed no wrongdoing. He was subsequently rejected by statewide Republican voters in seeking the nomination for lieutenant governor and governor, and, when he ran for U.S. Senate, by Virginia voters, who opted for the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Tim Kaine, in a landslide.

In recent years, Prince William has tilted decisively Democratic — it voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — as its population has become increasingly diverse. A majority of residents are Hispanic, black or Asian; fewer than half are non-Hispanic whites. That demographic profile seems a poor fit for a candidate such as Mr. Gray, who seems to abhor people different from himself. Additionally, he seems to have given little thought to the array of issues and challenges facing the county, which includes urban, suburban and rural areas. His platform, as described on his campaign website, contains nothing more than five slogans.

He conceded, after his deleted tweets were recovered by his Democratic opponent, Ann Wheeler, and shared with The Post, that some of his tweets were “inappropriate” and blamed some on a campaign consultant he says has been fired. In fact, it is Mr. Gray himself who is an inappropriate choice in Prince William.

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