Another United Conservative Party candidate is pulling out of the Alberta election, saying someone is threatening to release her past social media comments about Muslim refugees and transgender washrooms in provincial schools.
Eva Kiryakos, who was running in the Calgary-South East riding, made the announcement in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday night.
"Someone outside of our party, has been threatening to smear me, and I have had enough of the bullies and the threats," she wrote on Facebook, in preface to her video.
"I do not want this to take away from the election or my fellow United Conservative Party candidates, so I have decided to resign."
"I am doing this video today because I want to be transparent with you, my constituents, about what has been happening behind the scenes," she says on the video.
In the video, Kiryakos shares her retweet of a story about about "Germany's (Muslim) migrant rape crisis" spiraling out of control and others against transgender bathrooms in Alberta schools.
In a screenshot of a Twitter post that has since been removed but was provided to a Calgary media organization, Kiryakos says, "Muslim forces continue to use murder, rape, kidnapping, terror and forced breeding in pursuit of Christian Genocide in the Middle East while the world turns a blind eye."
Kiryakos defends her comments on her Facebook video.
"We all retweet and share articles," she said in her Facebook video. "I admit the image on the article wasn't positive. But the article was on women getting raped and the crisis there."
Kiryakos also included a tweet she posted during what she says was a discussion over the Alberta Teachers' Association direction that students be allowed to use a washroom of their choosing — now government policy.
Kiryakos said her children "had a right to not be brainwashed into accepting perversions as alternative lifestyles."
"I was concerned about safety in the washrooms and schools for my daughter and other people's daughters," she says in her Facebook video announcing her resignation as a candidate.
"The possibility of a grown man sharing a washroom with a little girl, to me, is a perversion," she said.
"I used the words 'alternative lifestyle' because the people I was engaged with on Twitter were using those words."
Kiryakos said her comments prompted some people to call her transphobic and a bigot.
In another Twitter post that has since been deleted, Kiryakos expresses the view that gay-straight alliances in schools have ulterior motives.
"You're not interested in protecting children with GSAs, you're interested in converting them."
"I am happy to openly dialogue with people who have different views. It's OK to disagree," she said. "I am sharing these with you because I have had enough of the threats and vilifying me for my beliefs and values.
"To censor myself and continue to be scared is to give in to this bully and his threats," she said in her video announcing she's quitting the race.
UCP Leader Jason Kenney said Monday that Kiryakos is being selfless by stepping down before the provincial election scheduled for April 16.
"She has put the party ahead of her own interests because, as her statement says, she does not want to be a distraction from the essential task of defeating the NDP and getting our economy back to work," he said.
"I've always been clear that the United Conservative Party is a big tent coalition that respects human dignity and will protect the rights of people no matter how they pray or who they love. I would only point out that Eva is also from a minority community herself."
Last week the UCP candidate for Calgary Mountain View also stepped down over controversial online messages.
Caylan Ford abruptly resigned after the revelation she once lamented there was a double standard for white supremacist terrorists.
The candidate chosen to replace her, Jeremy Wong, has already come under fire for his links to a Christian group that offers programs to reduce the "strength or power" of same-sex attraction.
Wong denies he supports conversion therapy, a widely-discredited practice which aims to turn gay people straight.