David Duke, former Grand Wizard (leader) of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana as a Republican. The KKK is a white supremacist hate group. As he announced his candidacy, Duke said, “The climate of this country has moved in my direction.”
There are six other Republicans running for the Senate seat. Louisiana will not have a primary election prior to the November election. All candidates will be listed on the ballot at that time, and if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, there will be a run-off between the two top finishers.
Results of a survey conducted by Univ. Of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center showed that approximately 13 percent of those responding supported Duke. The survey also showed more opposition to Duke from older voters than from younger ones, and that 14 percent of those polled view Duke favorably while 82 percent do not.
In an NPR interview, Duke described himself as an advocate for European-Americans. He stated, “I’ve always said that I’m for equal rights for all people, but I also believe that European-Americans shouldn’t be facing discrimination either.” In that interview he also said he was glad to see Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embrace most of the issues Duke had championed for years. Duke stated he thought Trump’s Louisiana voters would support him because, “I represent the idea of preserving this country and the heritage of this country, and I think Trump represents that as well.”
The Republican Party in Louisiana has denounced Duke, saying in a statement: “David Duke’s history of hate marks a dark stain on Louisiana’s past and has no place in our current conversation. The Republican Party of Louisiana will play an active role in opposing David Duke’s candidacy.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee leadership has said they will not back Dukes’ run under any circumstances.