“I believe in equal rights for all,” said Duke in his announcement video posted Friday. “What makes me different is that I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European Americans.”
“With the country coming apart at the seams and no one willing to really speak the truth about what is happening, the majority population in this country needs someone who will actually give voice to their interests in the face of an increasingly violent hatefest launched by the media and political establishment against them.”
Duke is seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter, joining a crowded field of nearly two dozen candidates. He lives in Vitter’s district and is a registered Republican. However, the GOP did not greet his announcement with glee.
“The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” said Roger Villere, chairman of the state’s Republican Party of Louisiana, in a statement Friday. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”
Duke is a convicted felon who pleaded guilty in 2002 to ripping-off his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year behind bars, but denied wrongdoing. Previously, he represented suburban New Orleans for one term, and unsuccessfully ran for Congress and for governor.
But the successful campaign of Donald Trump inspired Duke to try once more. “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years,” said Duke in his video. “My slogan remains America first.”
Watch Duke’s video below, if you can stomach it.