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Ex-KKK Leader David Duke Is Running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana

Former KKK Grand Wizard and presidential candidate David Duke speaks in 1991 / AP
• July 22, 2016 3:17 pm

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Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke registered Friday to run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke, a convicted felon and registered Republican, is seeking to succeed retiring Sen. David Vitter.

"The climate of this country has moved in my direction," he told the Associated Press.

Duke posted a video to his website before signing up to run, saying that he was "overjoyed" that Donald Trump and "most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years."

"My slogan remains American first," he said. "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."

Ward Baker, the executive director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Louisiana voters have several other Republican Senate candidates "who will have a great impact on the Bayou State and the future of our country."

"David Duke is not one of them. He will not have the support of the NRSC under any circumstance," Baker said in a statement.

Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana said that the state’s party "will play an active role in opposing" Duke.

"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.

Duke has previously run unsuccessfully for governor and Congress. He served one term in the Louisiana state house.

Donald Trump came under fire in February after he refused multiple times to denounce Duke, who had endorsed the Republican presidential nominee.

Published under: Donald Trump, Racism