Update, July 12: Edwin Duterte of California is no longer running.
More white nationalists are running for state or federal office than in any other election in modern history, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Some of these candidates are proud, card-carrying Nazis, while others have had more subtle flirtations with the “alt-right.” There’s even a Jew among them.
Who should you be keeping an eye out for?
John Fitzgerald, California, 11th Congressional District
Seth Grossman, New Jersey, 2nd Congressional District
Arthur Jones, Illinois, 3rd Congressional District
Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party, as well as an open Holocaust denier. He has refused to file campaign donor information with the Federal Election Commission because, he said, “I’m not going to give the Jews an opportunity to harass my supporters until after the election.”
Steve King, Iowa, 4th Congressional District
The only incumbent on our list, Rep. King has retweeted British neo-Nazis, spread false rhetoric about migrants, defended white supremacists and once had a a Confederate flag on his desk. He’s received praise from David Duke and Richard Spencer alike.
Paul Nehlen, Wisconsin, 1st Congressional District
Nehlen, who unsuccessfully ran against House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2016, kept a list of Jewish foes on Twitter. He went on a Twitter rant about “Jewish media.” Eventually, he got kicked off Twitter for racist tweets about Meghan Markle. Finally, he even got kicked off the alt-right Twitter-esque service Gab.
Corey Stewart, Virginia, U.S. Senate
Stewart, who was born in Minnesota, has wrapped himself in the Confederate flag and opposed the removal of Confederate monuments in Virginia. He embraces the idea that slavery was not the catalyst for the Civil War. He also once called Nehlen a “personal hero,” and initially refused to revoke his praise before later disavowing him and claiming he was unfamiliar with Nehlen’s extreme beliefs.
Shiva Ayyadurai, Massachusetts, U.S. Senate
Ayyadurai issued campaign pins featuring the white nationalist symbol Groyper, a cartoon toad. He’s also friends with Matt Colligan, who marched in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and once said “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Ayyadurai appeared in a live video broadcast with Colligan and called him “one of our greatest supporters.”
Edwin Duterte, California, 43rd Congressional District
Duterte promotes his campaign through a paid profile on Gab, a social media platform popular with white supremacists. In an introduction post, he used the popular “GabFam” hashtag and called his opponent “Mad Maxine Waters.”
Russell Walker, North Carolina, State House District 48
Walker has said that “God is a racist and a white supremacist,”, that whites are the “supreme group,” and that Jews are descendants of Satan.
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Juliana Kaplan is a news intern at The Forward. Email her at email@example.com