Former KKK leader David Duke announces plans to run for US Senate

FILE - In this May 29, 2004, file photo, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke speaks to supporters in Kenner, La. Duke said he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana. Duke's announcement came Friday, July 22, 2016, on his website. (AP Photo/Burt Steel, File)

BATON ROUGE, LA (AP/WCMH) – Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has announced that he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke made the announcement Friday through a YouTube video posted to his website and other social media outlets.

After the great outpouring of overwhelming support, I am proud to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate. I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is that I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European-Americans.

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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