Criticism about Kanye costume won’t stop town council candidate from running

Posted: Updated:

A Republican candidate for a Burlington County town council says that he won’t stop running for the seat, despite criticism about a picture of him dressed as Kanye West that surfaced.

Westampton Town Council candidate Karl Eversmeyer says that the costume, in which he painted his skin brown, was from Halloween 2009 and wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

“I dressed up as Kanye and [my wife] dressed up as Taylor Swift,” Eversmeyer says. It was a reference to the 2009 Video Music Awards incident in where West interrupted Swift while she was accepting an award.

Eversmeyer says that he was shocked when the photos resurfaced after 10 years with claims that he was a racist.

"Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a racist. It’s pretty obvious by my actions. You can tell by my character I consider people, people,” he says.

The photos, which came from the candidate’s personal Facebook page, were leaked by current committee member Anthony de Silva and former Mayor Carolyn Chang. Both are Democrats. They urged him to apologize and drop out of the race.

"Apologize. Don’t defend and I think that’s what’s happening in Westampton right now,” says Chang. “I think the person who engaged in that behavior and that person’s supporters are looking for defenses rather than apologizing.”

Eversmeyer says that he is sorry if anyone was offended by the pictures.

“This wasn’t really an offensive thing 10 years ago, as far as I know, and as far as the guest that I was with, know,” he says. “Today, I would never wear anything besides the color of my skin,” says Eversmeyer.

“If you don’t understand it, I could see certain people saying it’s innocent, it’s just Halloween. But it’ not…it’s hurtful to people of color,” says Chang.

News 12 New Jersey reached out to the Burlington County Republican Party for comment but did not hear back.

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