By Mawa Iqbal, 23News reporter

Update Wednesday 10:15 a.m.: Caius Gillen, vice presidential candidate under the More to Roar slate, has removed himself from the race as of Wednesday morning. He announced his resignation on Twitter.

Three candidates have dropped out of the race and the Board of Elections Commissioners suspended campaigning for the Missouri Students Association presidential elections Tuesday, after controversial tweets from three of the candidates resurfaced on March 5.

Former presidential candidates Blaine Thomas and Claire Jacobs both announced their resignations from the race on Tuesday evening through their respective campaign Twitter accounts. Both Jacobs and Thomas will be releasing official statements Wednesday. Gillen, vice presidential candidate, also resigned Wednesday morning.

It is unknown whether Thomas’ and Jacobs’ running mates, Chad Johnson and Thomas Cater respectively, will drop out of the race as well or continue the campaign alone.

After combing through the personal Twitter accounts of each candidate, KCOU editor Brett Stover and other staff members found tweets from Thomas, Jacobs and former vice presidential candidate Gillen that were racist, sexist and homophobic in nature.

Numerous tweets from Thomas contained homophobic slurs, racist, ableist and sexist remarks. One tweet contained a picture of Thomas in front of a Confederate flag and another of a French Pussy willow tree, saying that anyone who plants one in their yard can say they “got French pussy.”

This is a screenshot from Blaine Thomas' twitter account.This is a screenshot of Blaine Thomas' Twitter account expressing that cheerleaders are "easy"


“All this talk about Michael Brown is pointless. White or Black if you try to grab a cops gonna get shot. Stop being so sensitive…” Thomas said in a tweet from October 2014.

Jacobs tweeted racial slurs and offensive comments towards African Americans multiple times from 2012 to 2014. These tweets contained versions of the n-word.


whenever I go to the rta i put my money in yet no ticket comes out, causing me to hop the fence and get yelled at by incompetent black men,” Jacobs posted in November 2014.

Jacobs’ campaign account released an apology on Twitter Tuesday morning but deleted it soon after. The deleted tweet read, “It has come to my attention that some of my old tweets have become a topic of discussion. The views expressed do not reflect my views or those of the Jacobs/Cater campaign. I sincerely apologize to all those affected by my offensive comments.”

In 2016, Gillen posted two tweets containing derogatory remarks towards women, calling women “thots” and claiming that many of them were “trying to get put on.” Gillen also had a tweet that pushed a negative stereotype of African Americans.

“About to watch a black man swim for the first time. College truly is the best place for new experiences,” Gillen said in a tweet from January 2016.

Since the resurfacing of their tweets, Jacobs deleted her personal account and Thomas put his on private. Gillen, however, posted an initial apology on Twitter Monday night and then released an official apology letter Tuesday morning.

“I would like to again extend my deepest apologies for my defensive statements,” Gillen said in a statement to The Maneater and KCOU. “The tweets in question absolutely do not reflect my personal attitudes or the attitudes of More to Roar.”

The statement also included a quote from John “Jay” Abraham, the African-American man Gillen’s tweet referred to. Abraham said that Gillen offered to teach him how to swim.

“I include this statement not to make excuses for my remarks, as there is no suitable excuse for perpetuating negative racial stereotypes, but to provide greater context to the tweet,” the statement said. “I hope to regain trust and prove that I am committed to fostering an unconditionally inclusive environment on campus.”

In response to these resurfaced tweets, the BEC suspended the campaign between 1 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. BEC Chairman Joe Sell released a statement saying the suspensions were to ensure “due diligence was given in investigating a course of action moving forward regarding the remarks that were shared.”

According to the BEC bylaws, the BEC can’t enforce any infractions on the candidates in question because the remarks were made before they started campaigning.

“Unfortunately, the BEC can’t do anything due to statutes of limitation,” Sell said in an interview with MUTV. “This does not qualify as an infraction, but it does shed light on the character of the slates and an important loophole that is present within the handbook.”

As a result, the suspension was lifted and campaign activities will resume Wednesday. According to an article in the Columbia Missourian, MU spokesman Christian Basi said the information has been forwarded to the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.

The Maneater rescheduled the first presidential debate from this Wednesday to this Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m. in The Shack inside MU’s Student Center.

Wednesday March 7 9:35 a.m.: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of “Cater.” Thomas’ last name is not “Carter,” as the original article stated.

Edited by Aviva Okeson-Haberman and Isabel Lohman |

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