The buzz had been that Duke was going to run against Steve Scalise for the 1st District congressional seat. It seems he’s thinking bigger than that.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke announced Friday on his website that he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.
A registered Republican, he would be seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.
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.
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 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 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.
Louisiana needs a Duke candidacy in 2016 like it needs LSU to have a losing football season or another hurricane, particularly given the shocks to race relations in the state, and the state Republican Party especially doesn’t have any use for Duke. Here was a statement put out by LAGOP chairman Roger Villere on the subject…
“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. The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is one that recognizes the inherent value of every human life, regardless of age, religion or race. 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 fact is, it’s unlikely anybody is going to vote for Duke. The field in the Senate race offers far more options for the alt-Right protest-vote types to express themselves with, which is a significant difference from the reality in the early 1990’s when Duke came on the scene. Back then, voters could choose between old-school crooked Democrats and “reform” Democrats recently having switched to Republican; now there are actual Republicans galore on the ballot and some of them are even actual conservatives who don’t carry around racist and criminal baggage the way Duke does.
So beating back whatever candidacy he might mount is not a particularly heavy lift.
Still, it’s embarrassing that this buffoon is using the 2016 election cycle as an opportunity to spam the media and fleece idiot donors, and it’s even more embarrassing that Louisiana should be stuck with him after all this time. Nobody can fault Villere for being perturbed about his candidacy.