After weeks of rumors, David Duke, the former leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, has formally announced his bid for U.S. Senate in his home state of Louisiana on the last day for qualifying for the race.
“The fact is that European-Americans need at least one man in the United States Senate, one man in the Congress who will defend their rights and heritage,” Duke said in a video published on YouTube this morning.
Following his announcement, white nationalist Brad Griffin of Occidental Dissent celebrated the news and endorsed his candidacy:
Duke! Duke! Duke! Because, why not? He is absolutely right. We need one man in the Senate who is unapologetically pro-White. We need one man in the Senate who will tell the truth about Jewish power and influence. We need one man in the Senate who has decades of bona fide conservative nationalist credentials and experience.
Duke has a long history of political activism in Louisiana, most notably getting elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989. Duke got the attention of the world when, during the 1991 Louisiana governor's contest, he forced a runoff with the Democratic candidate, Edwin Edwards.
Earlier this year, Duke suggested he might run against Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-R), a man who gave a speech to Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) in 2002. After his EURO conference attendance was revealed in late 2014, Scalise claimed, improbably as a local politician and former neighbor of Duke’s, that he had no idea what EURO was or its connection to Duke.
Following the Scalise scandal, Duke dropped out of the limelight, doing the occasional interview and attending Holocaust denial conferences until the 2016 election cycle kicked into gear. Duke and the rest of the radical right are staunch supporters of Donald Trump and have used his campaign to push their messages into the mainstream. Throughout the campaign, Duke’s name has been in the media, most notably in February, when Donald Trump refused to disavow his support during an interview with CNN.
“I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,” Duke said in his announcement video.
Duke no doubt senses an opportunity to use this attention to go even further than the Trump campaign which has elevated ethno-nationalist appeals to the forefront of a major American political party.