Congressional candidate says her would-be constituents ‘have no families’ and ‘live in squalor’

Screenshot of Laurie McDonald participating in a candidates forum on Jan. 28, 2024.

By Sean Kitchen

January 29, 2024

A candidate with a checkered past made controversial comments about Congresswoman Summer Lee’s constituents during a forum.

Laurie MacDonald, a candidate looking to challenge Congresswoman Summer Lee in the primary election for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, made a series of shocking comments about Lee’s constituents during a forum at Carnegie Mellon University. 

“The people who live in her district have no families, they live in squalor,” MacDonald said at a candidate forum on Sunday before being cut off by the outraged crowd. 

MacDonald  replied by telling the crowd “Well, guess what? I work there. I have helped those communities,” and went on to say “I don’t have a prejudice, white, black, purple, pink bone in my body.”

@keystonenewsroom

Laurie MacDonald, a candidate looking to challenge Congresswoman Summer Lee in the primary election for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, made offensive remarks about the constituents living in Lee’s district during a forum at Carnegie Mellon University. MacDonald got into a verbal altercation with the crowd while making her remarks. Once the crowd died down, MacDonald stood on stage with a Trump-like posture claiming she doesn’t have a prejudiced bone in her body. MacDonald was accused of creating a toxic work environment and using extreme language while serving as CEO of the Center for Victims, according to WPXI. Check out our website to read more. #Pennsylvania #PAPolitics #PaNews #Pittsburgh #AlleghenyCounty #WesternPennsylvania #WesternPA #412 #2024Elections #Elections #PoliticalNews ✏️ : Sean Kitchen 🎥 Carnegie Mellon University via Youtube

♬ original sound – Keystone Newsroom

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported that the interaction between MacDonald and the crowd occurred while she was responding to a question about Congress’ role in supporting gender affirming care. 

MacDonald is one of two challengers hoping to unseat Lee, a first-term Democratic Congresswoman, in the party’s primary. 

It’s unclear how long MacDonald has been a Democrat, but she reportedly has a track record of using offensive language.  

MacDonald was accused of creating a toxic work environment and using extreme language while serving as CEO of the Center for Victims, according to WPXI. The news outlet spoke to current and former employees and obtained six letters sent to the Board of Directors between June 2018 and Jan. 2020. 

One letter alleges that the organization’s management, including MacDonald, used racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic slurs.  “Stupid jews,” “fat lesbians” and the “n-word” were some of the terms used, according to the letter. 

MacDonald has denied the allegations that she used such language.  



Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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