The Louisiana state Republican Party said Friday they won’t support former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s political comeback bid, condemning him as a “hate-filled fraud” and vowing to oppose his campaign for U.S. Senate.
“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” state party chair Roger Villere said in a statement. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”
Villere also wrote that Duke’s “history of hate marks a dark stain on Louisiana’s past and has no place in our current conversation.”
The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee also tweeted that the organizing body would not back Duke:
We will not support David Duke. Several GOP candidates in LA will have a great impact on our country. He is not one of them. #LASEN
— Ward Baker (@WardBaker) July 22, 2016
Duke, an avowed white supremacist, announced his plans to run for outgoing Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) seat on Friday. He previously served as a one-term Louisiana state lawmaker in the early ’90s.
Announcing his run one day after Trump accepted the GOP presidential nominee, Duke said he was “overjoyed to see Donald Trump…embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years” and said he was among the first to push for an “America first” policy approach. Trump invoked that slogan on Republican National Convention stage Thursday night.