World Bulletin / News Desk
White supremacist David Duke, apparently inspired by the grassroots support for Donald Trump's unconventional presidential bid, announced Friday he was launching a US Senate run in the southern state of Louisiana and called for a "revolution."
Duke is among the best-known figures of the American radical right, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a Holocaust denier.
His announcement comes with Louisiana in the throes of racial tensions, after a black man was shot dead by two police officers in the capital Baton Rouge on July 5. Following days of protests, a black gunman ambushed and killed three police officers in the city on July 17.
"I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European Americans," Duke said in a video posted on his website.
"The fact is that European Americans need at least one man in the United States Senate, one man in the Congress who will defend their rights and heritage," he said.
"We must stop the massive immigration and, I think, cleansing of the people whose forefathers created America."
The Republican's announcement came just hours after Trump officially accepted the party's nomination as its candidate to challenge Democrat Hillary Clinton for the White House.
In his short video, the 66-year-old Duke touched on -- and embraced -- some of the themes that catapulted Trump to the top of the Republican ticket on the back of support from disaffected white working and middle-class voters.
He called for protecting American jobs and businesses, fair trade deals and eliminating outside money from campaign politics.
"The time is now, the revolution is coming in the United States of America for the real people, the vast majority of the American people," he said.
"I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years," he said, claiming that he was the first political candidate in modern times to "promote" the "America First" phrase and policy that is a key Trump slogan.
The Louisiana Republican Party said it opposed Duke's candidacy "in the strongest possible terms."
"David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party," chairman Roger Villere said in a statement.
Duke served one term in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1989 to 1993.
In 1991, Duke launched a failed bid for governor against scandal-plagued incumbent Edwin Edwards. Duke won more than half of the white vote in that election in the deeply conservative state.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2016, 08:32