|David Ernest Duke|
Louisiana State Representative
for District 81 (Jefferson Parish)
February 18, 1989 – January 13, 1992
|Preceded by||Charles Cusimano|
|Succeeded by||David Vitter|
|Spouse(s)||Chloê Eleanor Hardin (m. 1974–1984, divorced)|
David Ernest Duke (born July 1, 1950, in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is a white supremacist, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and from 1989 to 1992 a Louisiana state representative for District 81 in Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans. Duke has run for office as a Democrat, as a Republican, and for the 1988 presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. He also briefly held membership in Ross Perot's Reform Party.
Duke is an ardent supporter of Minnesota Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Duke first surfaced to national attention when he was elected in 1989 to the state House of Representatives for Jefferson Parish. The next year he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate. In 1991, he lost the governor's race to Democrat Edwin Edwards, who easily secured his fourth nonconsecutive term in the position. In that contest, Edward supporters used posters saying, "Vote for the Crook. It's Important."
1988 Democratic primaries
Duke announced his presidential campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the 1988 presidential election. Duke, a white supremacist hated the black civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and his "Rainbow Coalition" and he claimed to command his "Sunshine Coalition" in opposition. Duke lost in his home state of Louisiana to Jesse Jackson. Duke won the 1988 New Hampshire Democratic vice-presidential primary in a landslide with 99.69% of the vote.
Duke was a vehement critic of U.S. President George W. Bush's decision in 2003 to invade Iraq. He has also spoken against the Republican National Committee, which opposed him in his own electoral contests. Evolutionary racism is a major component of Duke's views.
On the War in Iraq, Duke stated,
- Cindy Sheehan is absolutely right. Her son signed up in the military to defend America, not Israel ... In advancing this war for Israel, government and media advocates obviously couldn’t get Americans behind the war by saying it was a war for Israel. They had to make up bogus reasons for the war, such as saying that Iraq was an imminent threat to America and that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
Duke has run multiple times for office, including races for the Louisiana State Senate in 1975 against Kenneth Eli "Ken" Osterberger (1930-2016) of Baton Rouge. He ran for the United States Senate in 1990 against Democratic incumbent J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., and a second Republican candidate initially endorsed by the party leadership, state Senator Ben Bagert of New Orleans. In 1996, Duke ran again for the U.S. Senate, but victory went to Johnston's preferred successor, the Democrat Mary Landrieu. He ran again in 2016, when incumbent Republican Senator David Vitter, who succeeded Duke in the state House of Representatives in 1992, declined to pursue a third term after having been defeated in 2015 in a gubernatorial race against the Democrat John Bel Edwards.
In his most recent venture on the ballot, Duke finished in seventh place among twenty-four candidates with 58,581 votes (3 percent). Duke was allowed in the second of two senatorial debates in 2016 though the sixth-place finisher, retired United States Air Force Colonel Rob Maness, was excluded because of low poll standings. Maness, who also ran for the Senate in 2014 against Bill Cassidy and Mary Landrieu, received 90,812 votes (5 percent) in the 2016 primary election. The former Vitter seat is now held by John Neely Kennedy, a Republican former state treasurer, who defeated the Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Lonnie Campbell, Jr., in a runoff contest held on December 10, 2016, which Kennedy handily won.
In 2017, Duke endorsed U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) for DNC chairmanship among other white supremacists. He defended President Trump's press conference in 2018 following the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a position counter to the elites in both parties who condemned the president's remarks about the accuracy of American intelligence agencies. "Bravo Trump! Bravo Russia! … Russia has values that America once had and America the values Communist Russia had," said Duke in his latest defense of Trump.
In 2019, Duke and some of his followers endorsed U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a liberal congresswoman from Hawaii, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and has been critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the party's previous presidential nominee. Gabbard repudiated the endorsement.
- David Duke: White Revolution on the Internet.
- David Duke SPLC.
- David Duke is No Wizard at Politics.
- NH US Vice President - D Primary.
- Darwinism’s influence on modern racists and white supremacist groups: the case of David Duke
- Why Cindy Sheehan is Right!, David Duke, 8/14/2005.
- Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 8, 2016). Retrieved on November 10, 2016.
- Tyler Bridges (November 9, 2016). Foster Campbell seen as facing steep climb in U.S. Senate race against John Kennedy. The ton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on November 10, 2016.
- Stephanie Grace (July 18, 2018). Grace Notes: David Duke once again pops up at a low moment for Trump. The Baton Rouge Advocate.