Kimberly Klacik, the Republican woman running for the Baltimore U.S. House seat held by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, told “Outnumbered Overtime” Wednesday that Democrats keep her “at arm’s length” because of her focus on inner-city issues.
In a recent campaign ad, which has gone viral, Klacik walks the streets of what she calls the “real” Baltimore.
“The worst place for a Black person to live in America is a Democrat-controlled city,” she says in the ad. “It’s 2020. Name a blue city where Black people’s lives have gotten better. Try.”
“Outnumbered Overtime” host Harris Faulkner pointed out Wednesday that Baltimore “has been ranked as one of the top five most dangerous cities in United States over time” and “has a murder rate ten times the national average” as well as “a poverty rate more than 20%.”
“We see so many times where the mainstream media shows you this narrative of racism or defunding the police, or Black Lives Matter and we don’t actually see what’s going on in some of these inner cities,” Klacik said.
“There’s a homelessness issue,” she added. “There’s an issue in Baltimore City with vacant homes, abandoned homes that have been sitting there for over 30 years. We have a problem with crime and violence.”
Klacik explained that she is running for Congress because “we’ve got to give a voice to the voiceless.”
“These people have been trying to raise the alarm for such a long time,” she said.
“The education system in itself is a bad situation. We’ve got kids that are graduating high school unable to read, do basic math or write and so we’ve got to fix the issues … We’ve got to bring career opportunities to the area.”
Faulkner asked Klacik if Democrats had asked her “to team with them”.
“No, absolutely not,” Klacik said in response, adding that “they keep me at arm’s length because I do point out some of these issues.
“Back in 2015, we had the riots in Baltimore City after the death of Freddie Gray [in police custody] and at that point, they sent millions of federal dollars to the area,” she continued. “It’s 2020, and as you can see, those dollars never made it to the area.”
“Here I am as a Republican, I’m not a politician, I’ve never run for office, so I can follow that money for no fear, no favor, and try to see where it went and actually implement it in the right places,” Klacik went on.
She added that city residents have been left out “and now it’s time to say, ‘We’re here for you.’”
“I walk the streets, I talk to them. I say, ‘What will it take for you to vote for a Republican?’ And they tell me straight up, ‘You know, Kim you’re the first Republican that we’ve met,’” Klacik said. “So there’s a problem on both sides of the aisle.”
“Republicans have to get in there and talk to people and let them know that there is an option,” she continued.
Klacik, 38, is running against Rep. Kweisi Mfume, 71 in a rematch of the April special election that followed Cummings’ death in October. Mfume held the 7th District seat for a decade before Cummings, leaving office in 1996 to become president of the NAACP.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.