Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga), who is in one of the Georgia runoffs that will determine who controls the Senate, condemned a photo she took with a White supremacist.
The photo, which was taken at an event on Dec.11, shows Loeffler with Chester Doles, a longtime white supremacist who spent decades in the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi National Alliance. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Doles pleaded guilty to the battery of a Black man in 1993. He was also arrested in Georgia on weapons charges.
Far-Right leader Chester Doles — who has spent decades in the white supremacist movement organizing Klan and neo-Nazi groups — poses with Kelly Loeffler, @GARepublicans candidate for US Senate. #gapol #gasen pic.twitter.com/uYMtMx9mTi
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) December 11, 2020
The photo went mainstream after Doles posted it to VK, a Russian social networking website. In a statement to the AJC, Loeffler’s campaign spokesperson said the senator had no idea who the man was.
“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.
CNN reports there is no evidence to show Loeffler knew Doles or sought his support, however, this is the second event of Loeffler’s he’s attended. Georgia House Republican candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene had Doles removed from an event featuring Loeffler earlier this year.
Loeffler’s opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock was quick to blast her for the post. Warnock’s spokesperson Michael Brewer said there was “no acceptable explanation” for the photo.
Brewer said: “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,” according to CNN.
This isn’t the first controversy for Loeffler this year. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Georgia senator was shamed and investigated for selling $20 million in stock after attending a private briefing admitting the pandemic was coming to the U.S.
During the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, Loeffler, a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream WNBA franchise, said the movement doesn’t belong in the WNBA. That led to the players on Loeffler’s team to protest her by supporting Rev. Warnock.