Ex-KKK leader David Duke plans to run for US Senate
search

Ex-KKK leader David Duke plans to run for US Senate

Republican Party of Louisiana chairman denounces candidacy, calling him ‘a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud’

David Duke (CNN screenshot)
David Duke (CNN screenshot)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke announced Friday on his website that he plans to run for US Senate in Louisiana.

“I’m proud to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate,” Duke said in a video. “I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European Americans.”

Duke’s announcement came as the state is grappling with deep racial tensions after the shooting death of a black man by white police officers and the killing of three law enforcement officers by a black man. It also came one day after Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination for president.

Duke said in the video, “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years. My slogan remains America first.”

A registered Republican, Duke would be seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Nearly two dozen candidates have signed up for the Senate race. The seat is open because Vitter decided not to run for re-election on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Duke has not yet filed the official paperwork to run. Louisiana’s candidate qualifying period ends Friday afternoon.

Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, denounced Duke’s candidacy in a statement.

“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office. David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party,” Villere said Friday.

The white supremacist Duke is a former state representative who represented suburban New Orleans for one term more than two decades ago and was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. His failed bid for governor in the 1991 race against former Gov. Edwin Edwards — who was later convicted of corruption — was one of Louisiana’s most high-profile elections, with Duke opponents proudly showing bumper stickers supporting Edwards that read “Vote for the crook. It’s important.”

In a posting on his website, Duke said he’d been “urged by enormous numbers of people” in his district to run for United States Congress.

“With the country coming apart at the seams and no one willing to really speak the truth about what is happening, the majority population in this country needs someone who will actually give voice to their interests in the face of an increasingly violent hatefest launched by the media and political establishment against them,” Duke’s website says.

Duke is a convicted felon, pleading guilty in 2002 to bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison, but later denied any wrongdoing.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments