John Paul Rogers, a 70-year old Floridian, wants to run for mayor of a small Florida town called Lake Wales. Just one problem: the democratic mayoral candidate is a former Klansman.
Here he is at a 1977 KKK rally in Tallahassee:
Not only was Rogers a Klansman, but he was a leader in the United Klans of America, which was arguably the most violent of the Klan organizations says Florida local and Klan history expert Darryl Paulson:
Paulson, a USF professor, who is an expert in the Klan, points to a case in which two Klansman with the United Klans of America were convicted of attacking 19-year-old Michael Donald in 1981 in Mobile, Alabama. Donald was beaten up and his throat was cut.
Paulson says, “They hung him from a tree and they were sued in court and the civil judgment was launched against the United Klans of America. The jury awarded a six million dollar settlement to the mother of the slain child.”
He adds, “When Rogers says he resigned. He had no other choice. The United Klans couldn’t pay off the six million dollar settlement but they lost their headquarters. Their headquarters was sold as part of the judgement so in essence they were forced out of business. They were financially bankrupt.”
According to a local news station in Tampa Bay, Rogers has no apologies about his time with the KKK.
Rogers told WTSP’s 10 News, “Well I resigned years ago, about 30 years ago. Jesus said, ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone,‘ and so far no one’s hit me with a rock. I don’t know of any act of any violence that was sanctioned by our organization, either national or in Florida.”
Will Lake Wales voters elect a former KKK leader to be their mayor? We’ll find out on April 5, election day.
Local coverage and an interview with Rogers appears below (H/T Gateway Pundit).