White Supremacist Sympathizers Are Running For Office As Republicans

by Kelly Tunney
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Following the devastating 2016 election loss and the subsequent Republican takeover of the legislative and executive branches, Democrats have rallied a cry for 2018. It's the next voting year when Republican seats in Congress will be up for grabs and the Democrats can attempt to make a comeback. But it looks like those on the far-right might be thinking the same thing. In the coming elections, white nationalists may run in the Republican party.

Just a few days after protests broke out in Charlottesville, VA, over the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a prominent far-right man announced his run for U.S. Senate in Florida as a Republican. Florida resident Augustus Sol Invictus ran as a Libertarian in 2015 and lost. But now that a president is in office who at first avoided condemning the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville protests, he may stand a better chance of gathering a base.

According to GQ, during his previous Senate run, Invictus, who changed his name from Austin Gillespie, has denied the label of white supremacist, but knows that white supremacists support him. However, he now seems to be showing up at pro-white rallies. According to ThinkProgress, he was scheduled to give a speech at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, but never did because of the violent protests that ensued.

And he has a pretty colorful history, which was brought to light in his last public run. Invictus has admitted to killing a goat and drinking its blood as a part of his religion, Thelema.

It's likely that Invictus isn't the only person affiliated with white supremacists (though he has denied being one) who could run for office, possibly within the Republican party. The New York Times reported that following the protests at Charlottesville, white supremacists and right-wing extremists are making plans for the future, including possible political careers.

Not only do far-right conservatives plan on running for office, it seems they may be more active in planning additional rallies and events now that they have national attention. According to the New York Times, a white nationalist named Preston Wiginton is making plans to host a "White Lives Matter" march on Sept. 11 at Texas A&M. And prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer vowed to return to Charlottesville following the deadly protests on Aug. 12.

In the near future, we may be seeing more right-fringe candidates take on the Republican party in elections. With Invictus' announcement that he's running in the Republican party rather than the Libertarian, Republicans may need to make a choice of whether they're going to allow extremists into their political races.