- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The owner of the Lexington, Virginia, restaurant who refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is also executive director of the town’s nonprofit group promoting its “economic prosperity” and character.

Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen restaurant, is listed as the head of volunteer-based Main Street Lexington on the group’s website.

Its home page says the organization “exists to enhance the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of our community, re-establishing downtown Lexington as the vibrant economic and cultural nexus of our area while maintaining its unique character.”

The group, established in 2013, is affiliated with the Virginia Main Street Program, which seeks to promote “economic revitalization in the context of historic preservation.”

Under the dining section, the group’s website boasts that each of the town’s restaurants “offers a personality all its own.”

“Whether you’re passing through, staying for the weekend, or moving for good, you’ll find great cuisine,” it proclaims.

Ms. Wilkinson asked Mrs. Sanders to leave her restaurant Friday night after the eatery’s employees objected to the presence of the White House staffer, saying they object to the administration’s policies. Mrs. Sanders and her party did leave.

Mrs. Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said Ms. Wilkinson and others then followed part of Mrs. Sanders’ group to another restaurant in Lexington and held a demonstration outside.

Ms. Wilkinson didn’t reply immediately to an inquiry on whether her actions at her restaurant represented the Main Street group.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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