A. Roswell Thompson

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Addison Roswell Thompson, known as A. Roswell Thompson (November 14, 1911 - February 15, 1976),[1] was a segregationist candidate for governor of the U.S. state of Louisiana, and for mayor of New Orleans, during the 1960s and first half of the 1970s. He was described in his New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary as "a self-proclaimed racist and wizard of the Ku Klux Klan." Thompson ran a small taxicab company until he retired in 1972, but became known through his quixotic political campaigns.[2] Thompson declared himself the Imperial Wizard of his own one-man KKK, the Universal Klan or the Fraternal Order of the Klan, as Thompson often termed it.[3]

Thompson sought the governorship thirty-two years before former Klansman David Duke, running as the unendorsed Republican candidate, lost the 1991 general election to Democrat Edwin Washington Edwards, who secured his fourth nonconsecutive term in office. Thompson ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in December 1959 and December 1963, having polled 4,000 and 3,343 votes, respectively, finishing with less than 1 percent of the vote. The winners of those elections were Jimmie Davis and John J. McKeithen, respectively. Then Thompson filed in the Democratic mayoral primaries of 1965 and 1969, having received 2,121 votes (1.3 percent) and 1,248 ballots (0.73 percent), respectively.[4] The winners of those elections were the incumbent Victor H. Schiro and Maurice "Moon" Landrieu, respectively. He ran again in 1973, when Landrieu, who forged a coalition of African Americans and white liberals, handily secured a second term.[5]In all, Thompson ran for office fourteen times as an avowed Klansman.[6]

In February 1967, Thompson served as master of ceremonies for a meeting of the Crescent City chapter of the National States' Rights Party. The main speaker at the meeting was the anti-Semitic and anti-African-American J. B. Stoner (1924-2005) of Tennessee and Georgia, a strong critic of both national parties in regard to race relations in the United States.[7] Thompson and his friend-mentor, the late Colonel Rene LaCoste, had a run-in with a group of Black Panthers at the Robert E. Lee Monument in New Orleans. The two segregationists were there to celebrate Lee's birthday.[8]

Thompson's last political race was in November 1975, when he entered the first ever nonpartisan blanket primary for governor. Still filing as a Democrat, Thompson polled .4 of 1 percent, as the incumbent Democratic Governor Edwin Edwards coasted to a second second consecutive term.[9]

Thompson was never reconciled to the racial integration of American society.


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