Looking for news you can trust?Subscribe to our free newsletters.
Library of Congress; iStock photoThe Trump era has emboldened white supremacists and conspiracy theorists to emerge from the shadows—and some of them have been running for office:
The carpetbagger: Corey Stewart, Virginia’s Republican Senate candidate, has built his political career around defending Confederate monuments—despite being born and raised in Minnesota. In 2017, Stewart met publicly with the man who would later organize the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; after a neo-Nazi allegedly killed Heather Heyer there, Stewart blamed “half the violence” on anti-racist counterprotesters. He also endorsed Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite and self-described “pro-white” candidate who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat.
Doctor Whoo: After Kelli Ward announced her candidacy against Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (who has since decided not to run again), President Donald Trump tweeted, “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake.” Before she was knocked out in the August primary, Ward got a reputation for hanging out with right-wing cranks and conspiracy theorists. She posted a photo of herself with Milo Yiannopoulos, met up with Pizzagate promoter Mike Cernovich, and spoke to a fringe medical group that claims abortion causes cancer.
Heil no: In March, a 70-year-old neo-Nazi named Arthur Jones ran unopposed to become the Republican candidate for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. The state GOP distanced itself from Jones, a Holocaust denier who said he was running against the “two-party, Jew-party, queer-party system.”
Evan Agostini/Invision/APCray-Z: Illinois Republicans also disavowed Bill Fawell, their candidate for the 17th District, in August after he was found to have posted conspiracy theories on Facebook. Fawell had claimed the Sandy Hook shooting was a “false flag” operation, that Israel was behind 9/11, and that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have links to “the godless Illuminati.”
Paint it whack: John Fitzgerald, the Republican candidate in California’s 11th District, is running on a platform that includes promoting anti-fluoridation and questioning “the official 9/11 story.” Fitzgerald, a painter, has offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who can prove the Holocaust really happened and has written blog posts like “Why Are Powerful Jews Pushing Mass Immigration and Forced Multiculturalism Throughout the U.S. and Europe?”
Radioactive: On his radio show, Steve West, a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives, has made racist and anti-Semitic statements such as, “Hitler was right about what was taking place in Germany and who was behind it.”
Gross, man: Seth Grossman, who’s running in New Jersey’s 2nd District, has called diversity “a bunch of crap,” declared Islam “a cancer,” and said, “The idea that you can succeed without work” is “killing the African American community.” The National Republican Congressional Committee withdrew its endorsement after he shared a post from a white nationalist website.
Whose god? Russell Walker, the Republican state House candidate in North Carolina’s 48th District, has a website crammed with anti-Semitic and racist rants and littered with statements like “God is a racist and white supremacist.”
Yes we Klan: In April, a poll found that California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s top challenger was Patrick Little, a Republican anti-Semite who got the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. After he lost the primary, Little wrote that “Jewish elites, hell-bent on enslaving us, played their usual tricks in a bid to maintain power.”