Elections

Kelly Loeffler’s Campaign: Senator “Had No Idea” She Took Photo with Former KKK Leader

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Senator Kelly Loeffler’s campaign denied that she knew she was taking a photo with a former Ku Klux Klan leader at a campaign event Friday. Loeffler was photographed with KKK leader Chester Doles, who spent decades with the organization and was imprisoned in 1993 for the beating of a Black man.

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“Kelly had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for,” Stephen Lawson, Loeffler’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The photo went viral Friday evening.

Progressive Jewish group Bend the Arc said Loeffler is “embracing white supremacy” by posing with Doles.

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Loeffler is running against Democrat Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s Senate runoffs, which will determine which party gets majority control over Congress’s upper chamber. In a statement, campaign spokesman Michael Brewer said Warnock did not believe that Loeffler was unaware of Doles’s past.

“While Kelly Loeffler runs a campaign based on dividing and misleading Georgians, she is once again trying to distance herself from someone who is a known white supremacist and former KKK leader who nearly beat a Black man to death,” Brewer said

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. “There’s no acceptable explanation for it happening once, let alone a second time.”

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