Sheriff Mike Chitwood Condemns Barnaby's Transgender 'Demons' Comments


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood has issued a statement condemning Webster Barnaby, a state Representative from Deltona, for statements made about transgender people in session Monday. Barnaby, a Republican, described the trans community as 'mutants', 'demons', and 'imps' before apologizing shortly thereafter.

In the statement he posted to Twitter Monday night, Chitwood likened Barnaby's comments to recent neo-Nazi demonstrations which have popped up around Volusia County. "While we have Neo Nazis and other hate groups invading our area and targeting people for their faith, their ethnicity and their sexuality, our own state representative wants to put another target on their backs," he said. Chitwood has launched a personal campaign against anti-Semitism, leading to multiple arrests of those issuing him death threats.

Chitwood tagged Barnaby's Twitter account, but the account appears to have been suspended or deactivated amidst the national backlash against him. It's unclear if his departure from Twitter is permanent or temporary.

"It's not OK to dehumanize people who aren't hurting anyone," Chitwood continued. "(Barnaby) can find plenty of hate groups who might embrace his thinking." The Sheriff then posted a photo of area neo-Nazis, suggesting Barnaby's views on transgender people are consistent with their own.

He went on to commend state Representative Chase Tramont of Port Orange, who also condemned Barnaby's statement on Monday, as well as Committee Chairman Bob Rommel of Collier County. At the end though, the majority of his statement contained venom for his fellow Volusia County elected official.

"(Barnaby) is an embarrassment to Volusia County and to the state of Florida," Chitwood said in closing. "His words prove he isn't fit to represent our community." As of Tuesday, Barnaby is the only candidate filed for the 2024 election for his state House seat. He won it in November 2022 with 59.5% of the vote over Democrat Rick Karl.