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Wikipedia removes page of Senate candidate conceived in rape

Kathy Barnette
Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette from Pennsylvania speaks during a debate on May 4, 2022. |

A U.S. Senate candidate in Pennsylvania is accusing Wikipedia of trying to “cancel” her by deleting her Wikipedia page as her campaign gains momentum in the days leading up to the primary election.

Kathy Barnette, one of several Republican candidates vying for the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania who has been the focus of recent national media reports highlighting the fact she was conceived in rape, took to Twitter on Tuesday to complain that Wikipedia had pulled her page down with about a week left to go until the primary election.

On May 17, Republicans and Democrats will select nominees to run in the general election scheduled for November to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

“When they cancel me, they’re cancelling you,” Barnette, a veteran and former homeschooling mother, proclaimed. “No one said this would be easy. They don’t like giving up power. They forget that the true power is with the people, though.”

Barnette, who also served as an adjunct finance professor, shared a screenshot of the “talk” section of the article that once bore her name, which indicates that “this page was recently deleted (within the last 24 hours).” The screenshot listed Monday as the date of the page’s deletion. 

A hard copy of a list of deleted Wikipedia pages from Monday includes a discussion about the justification for removing Barnette’s Wikipedia page. “This person is still not notable,” the page states.

Those searching for “Kathy Barnette” on Wikipedia will instead be redirected to the page for the “2022 United States Senate Election in Pennsylvania” because “sources nearly all surround her candidacy or [her] previous failed candidacy for Congress.” Wikipedia editors maintain that Barnette does not meet the site’s notability guidelines for politicians. 

Barnette unsuccessfully ran for Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District in 2020. 

Specifically, the encyclopedia defines “politicians and judges who have held international, national, or (for countries with federal or similar systems of government) state/province-wide office, or have been members of legislative bodies at those levels” as “notable.”

Politicians “who have been elected to such offices but have not yet assumed them” are also considered notable, as are “major local political figures who have received significant press coverage.” 

Wikipedia classifies “major local political figures who have received significant press coverage” as notable. “Just being an elected local official, or an unelected candidate for political office, does not guarantee notability, although such people can still be notable if they meet the general notability guideline,” the website explains.

According to the “general notability guideline,” “[a] topic is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list when it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject.”

While Wikipedia has concluded that Barnette fails to meet the notability guidelines at this time, the encyclopedia notes that “if Barnette wins the election the article can be recreated.”

The latest polls of the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary race suggest that Barnette winning the primary election is a possibility. 

After spending months polling in single digits, recent surveys of Pennsylvania Republican Primary voters have seen a surge in support for Barnette, whose two main opponents are physician and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and hedge funder manager Dave McCormick.

The latest RealClearPolitics average of polls on the Republican Senate nomination in Pennsylvania show Oz leading with 22.3% followed by Barnette at 21%, McCormick at 20% and all other candidates in single digits.

Barnette has yet to lead in a poll conducted of the race thus far, although she came in second in the two most recent polls.

In a survey conducted by FOX 29/Insider Advantage from May 7 to May 9, Oz leads with 23%, with Barnette capturing 21% support and McCormick receiving 19% support. A poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group from May 6 to May 8 shows Oz on top with 25% support and Barnette in second place at 23%. In that poll, McCormick received 22% support among those surveyed.

A poll conducted by Fox News from May 3 to May 7 shows Barnette at 19%, coming in third behind McCormick (20%) and Oz (22%).

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Oz in the primary, but concerns about “carpetbagging” allegations stemming from Oz’s longtime residency in New Jersey and insufficient and inconsistent support for conservative principles could prevent the TV personality from clinching the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat.

As abortion has become a significant issue in American politics following the publication of a Politico story containing an initial draft Supreme Court opinion that suggests the court could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Barnette has caught the attention of the pro-life movement.

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List Tuesday announced its endorsement of Barnette one week before the Republican primary.

“We are excited to endorse Kathy Barnette for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement Tuesday. “Kathy is a courageous advocate for life who exposes the human cost of abortion.”

Dannenfelser praised Barnette’s “deeply compelling personal story” as a baby conceived in rape whose mother chose not to abort her. The activist maintained that it “ought to stir consciences across our nation, as she is proof that every child has dignity and deserves a chance and every mother deserves our support to choose life.”

"[T]here could not be a sharper contrast between Kathy and pro-abortion Democrats like John Fetterman, who want to impose abortion on demand until birth," Dannenfelser said. 

“Fetterman even calls abortion ‘sacred’ and can’t name a single limit on abortion he supports,” she added. “Kathy will fight back against the radical Biden-Schumer agenda and stand up for the values of Pennsylvanians. We urge Keystone State voters to send her to Washington at this pivotal moment for life in America.”

Currently, nonpartisan political handicappers, including the Cook Political Report, Politico, RealClearPolitics and the University of Virginia Center for Politics, rate the Senate election in Pennsylvania as a toss-up.

Inside Elections has labeled the race “Tilt Republican,” indicating a very narrow advantage for the GOP. The Senate currently has a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of Democrats. Republicans need just one seat to take control of the Senate.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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