He came for Leith, North Dakota and got thrown in jail for terrorizing his neighbors with a gun.
He came for Antler, North Dakota and had the properties he was eyeing bought out from under him.
Now he’s coming for Red Cloud, Nebraska—and the town’s residents, including members of a local militia, are already talking about how to thwart self-described white supremacist Craig Cobb.
Local TV station KHGI reported that Cobb purchased three properties in Webster County, Nebraska from a sheriff’s sale on Sept. 23. Cobb paid $25 and $100 for dilapidated properties in Red Cloud, a town of 1,200 residents, and nearly $3,500 for a property in neighboring Inavale.
The news station noted a Facebook page that popped up in August called “Franklin, NE” included photos of a man who appeared to be Cobb posing in August outside homes in nearby Franklin, Nebraska. But a man claiming to be Cobb called KHGI denying that he appeared in the photos and asserting he was still in North Dakota.
A man who appears to be Cobb poses in front of a library in Franklin, Nebraska.
The purchases mark the third time in less than three years that Cobb has swooped into a remote midwestern town to buy up abandoned properties with the goal of establishing an Aryan enclave. His attempt at establishing a “Pioneer Little Europe,” a community of white nationalists, in Antler, North Dakota was even less successful than his first, aborted attempt to take over Leith.
Cobb told The Kearney Hub newspaper in an interview that his plan for the Nebraska properties was to have “nice, young white people” move in.
“We’re not going to bother anybody,” he told the newspaper. “We’ll be a big asset.”
KHGI’s report noted that the last census showed Webster County was 96.8 percent white. But Cobb’s reputation apparently precedes him and local residents seemed to view his presence as a threat right off the bat.
Red Cloud Mayor Gary Ratzloff told the Lincoln Journal-Star that Cobb’s purchases prompted an emergency town meeting that drew 100 people. Resident Mike Goebel told the Grand Forks Herald that a local militia also met the night before the town meeting to discuss racial insults someone claiming to be Cobb posted online.
Goebel, who said his mother is Mexican, told The Guardian last week that he welcomed a confrontation with the self-described white supremacist.
“I’ve never been one to run from confrontation and I’m sure as hell not gonna run from it now,” he told the publication. “If they want to come to my house, come on in. Actually don’t come in. And don’t threaten us. Because you will be answered.”
A district court judge had 30 days to approve or block the sale of the Webster County properties to Cobb, according to KHGI. But Cobb told The Kearney Hub that he’d simply move on if the sales fell through.
“What am I going to do? I’m going to the next town over, and the next town,” he told the newspaper. “Who knows where I might own property?”
So Cobb apparently intends to found a town named “Trump Creativity” one way or another.