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Ex-KKK leader David Duke qualifies for US Senate

Published: Jul. 22, 2016 at 11:08 AM CDT
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Update: Friday, July 22, 2016 at 2pm:

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has officially signed up to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke registered Friday, the final day of Louisiana's qualifying period. A registered Republican, he is seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Duke's candidacy comes as Louisiana 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.

A white supremacist, Duke served one term as a state representative representing suburban New Orleans more than two decades ago. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1991 against Democrat Edwin Edwards.

Duke, a convicted felon, pleaded guilty in 2002 to bilking supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison.

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Original Story:

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke's announcement came Friday on his website.

A registered Republican, he would be seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Duke's announcement comes as Louisiana 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.

A white supremacist, Duke served one term as a state representative representing suburban New Orleans more than two decades ago. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1991 against Democrat Edwin Edwards.

Duke is a convicted felon, pleading guilty in 2002 to bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison.

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LAGOP Statement:

Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, issued the following statement regarding news that David Duke is running for public office:

“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.”