KKK leader Duke considers presidential run

July 5, 2011 at 1:40 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., July 5 (UPI) -- Former Louisiana lawmaker and Ku Klux Klan head David Duke has begun a 25-city tour to gauge support for a possible presidential bid, The Daily Beast reported.

Duke, a former Pelican State legislator and KKK grand wizard, made two runs for president -- as a Democrat in 1988 and as a Republican in 1992.

Duke said he hasn't considered a run for any public office since his gubernatorial bid in the 1990s, but told The Daily Beast Monday 2012 is becoming a pivotal year for "white civil rights advocates."

Duke, who maintains a high profile online, said he finds nothing wrong with a white political bloc.

"I have no hatred of anyone," he said. "Just a love of my heritage and values."

The election of Barack Obama, a black, in 2008 led to a huge electoral push by white supremacists in 2010, extremism watchers said.

"We've seen increasing numbers of white supremacists and others on the radical right running for electoral office for several years now and we likely had more in the last election than in any other in recent memory," says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "Although extremely few of these people are elected, especially if their views become known during the campaign, the fact that there are so many openly running for public office reflects the growth of white nationalism over the last 10 years.

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