If you had any doubts about the direction of the Republican Party—and if you’re reading this it’s likely you don’t—look no further than Chester Doles, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and leader of neo-Nazi National Alliance, who filed his paperwork last month to run for office in 2022.
Doles, 61, is running for a seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners, located in Dahlonega, Georgia, the 9th District, represented by Andrew Clyde, a Republican—of course.
You may remember Doles as the man who cozied up to Republican Georgia Senate candidate Kelly Loeffler, even posing for photos with her. She repeatedly said she didn’t know who he was, but Doles claimed to have served as her security. Loeffler lost to Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock.
The county Doles is running in is represented by the loathsome, racist, Islamaphobic QAnon nutter Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She obviously wouldn’t be bothered by the fact that Doles served time for beating a Black man in 1993, according to The Baltimore Sun. He was busted again in 2003 on a federal firearms charge, marched with white nationalists in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017, and remains connected with skinheads, neo-Confederates, and his former Klansman brothers.
In a 2019 interview, with WXIA-TV, channel 11 in Atlanta, Georgia, Doles said: “I’m a 4th generation Klansman. What do you think happened to the robes? I still believe people of European descent have every right to shake the shackles of white privilege and white guilt that’s been shoved down our children’s throats.”
The point is that Doles, with a motley past that once would have made him an outsider, even in the GOP, in today’s political climate, he fits right in. His xenophobic and racist rhetoric is par for the course. All he needs is a devotion to former twice-impeached President Donald Trump and the support of his Republican outsiders, and he’s good to go.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, at least seven people who attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally have won public office in races around the nation.
“For candidates who are in the extreme wings of a party, this is an environment in which they see opportunities,” Jennifer Kavanagh, a senior political scientist with the RAND Corp. and an expert on political disinformation, told the AJC. She adds, “If you can wrap yourself in the cloak of a party … you can win a pretty sizable support base, even if you have other factors that would previously be disqualifying.”
The allegedly ex-Klansman, who calls himself a patriot despite the fact that up until a year ago he didn’t have the right to vote as an ex-con, has been screaming about the same inane issues as the rest of the GOP—from critical race theory, immigrants taking our jobs, antifa, draining the swamp, and comparing left-wing progressives to socialists and terrorists.
Doles says he’s had his come-to-Jesus reckoning with his past, although he was arrested in 2016 for his part in a bar brawl and as AJC reports, identified by police as the leader of Hammerskins, a racist skinhead gang. He was sentenced to probation.
He’s aligned himself with a new form of fanatical group led by Black preacher Derrick Grayson, a thrice Republican candidate for the Georgia senate. Grayson’s social media is filled with anti-mask, anti-mandate hyperbole, pro-life rants, calling liberals “idiots,” retweeting Bill O’Reilly, and promoting ivermectin.
Doles is serious about his run and explains to AJC that he believes the dismantling of America is inevitable.
“One of the other reasons I’m running for county commissioner and not something ridiculous like Congress or state Senate is I think if this thing does pop off and things go south in America with martial law and all that, it’s going to be your local sheriff and county commissioners that’s going to mean something in your area,” he said.
Despite the fact that Doles continue to claim he’s disavowed his KKK past, calling his time in the group “youthful indiscretion” as recently as April of this year, he refused to decry the group.
But in September 2019, Doles organized a “Patriot” demonstration in his hometown of Dahlonega, where he invited Jovi Val, a far-right neo-fascist with white nationalist with extremist views, including antisemitism to speak. When Radford confronted Doles about Val’s racist views, he said Val had “issues,” but again refused to denounce them.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.