Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is running for the open Senate seat in Louisiana.
He made the announcement in a video Friday in which he claimed credit for much of the platform of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“Thousands of special interest groups stand up for African Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, etc., etc.,” Duke said. “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.”
Duke claimed credit for creating the “America first” agenda advanced by Trump, saying he was “overjoyed” to see the embrace of many of his policy ideas by Republican voters.
“We cannot have free trade without fair trade. We must protect American jobs and businesses,” he said.
The Louisiana Senate seat is opening up due to the retirement of GOP Sen. David Vitter, who lost a bid for governor last year.
Republican Rep. John Fleming, who is also running for the open seat, was quick to distance himself from Duke’s brand of politics.
“Dr. Fleming has always rejected all forms of racism, discrimination, and prejudice,” said his communications director Matthew Beynon in a statement. “He is wholly focused on uniting all Louisiana voters of all races, creeds, and religions behind his hopeful message of freedom, liberty, and security.”
Duke, the former KKK grand wizard, returned to the public eye after urging listeners of his radio show to back Trump during the Republican primaries. He said “voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Buzzfeed reported in February.
Dukes told The Daily Beast last week that he was considering a run against Rep. Steve Scalise for his House seat.
He previously ran for Louisiana governor in 1991 and lost in a runoff. He served in the state House from 1989 to 1992.