Fairmont residents express concerns about councilman after comments he made on social media

Marion

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont City Council member Barry Bledsoe is again facing backlash over comments he made on social media.

Bledsoe recently commented on a Facebook post about a Black Lives Matter crosswalk coming to Morgantown. In the post, Bledsoe referred to Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker as a “satanist.” Recently, Bledsoe came under fire for posting a Facebook status that was critical of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Before the city council meeting, people from the community gathered outside with Walker and other delegates from across West Virginia. Some residents spoke out against Bledsoe’s comment.  

“This is very alarming and upsetting to see, especially cause, you know, we’re, we have such a strong movement going on here in Appalachia,” Morgantown Pride President Ash Cutright stated. “We’re fighting for Black lives, we’re fighting for queer lives, and to see someone, especially a council member, attack a member of our community, we’re not here to stand for that.”

About 30 to 40 people stood in front of city hall to speak about their concerns.

Most people at the meeting supported Walker, but not everyone agreed. At times, there was tension between crowd members.

Fairmont Mayor Brad Merrifield, along with other council members, apologized for what was said about Walker and stated that Bledsoe’s statement does not represent the council as a whole.

Merrifield read a letter written by Bledsoe, in which he apologized to Walker for his comment. Bledsoe was not in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting because he was ill.

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