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Loeffler’s campaign condemns white supremacist who appeared in photo

Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s (R-Ga.) campaign on Sunday condemned the white supremacist with whom she took a photo and said the senator didn’t know who he was at the time, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported.

Stephen Lawson, Loeffler’s campaign spokesman, told the AJC that “Kelly had no idea who that was” and that “if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for.”

The photo in question, which was taken at a campaign event Friday, depicts the senator smiling next to Chester Doles, a reported former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who was sentenced to prison for the 1993 beating of a black man, according to The Baltimore Sun. The AJC reported that Doles also has ties to the Hammerskins, also known as Hammerskin Nation, defined as the “best organized, most widely dispersed and most dangerous Skinhead group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Progressive Jewish advocacy group Behind the Arc, which works to rise up in “solidarity with everyone threatened by the Trump agenda,” shared the image to Twitter and condemned Loeffler.

“This is who @KLoeffler is proudly appealing to,” the group wrote alongside the photo.

Loeffler is currently campaigning ahead of the Peach State’s critical Senate runoff races on Jan. 5. She faces off against Democratic contender the Rev. Raphael Warnock. 

Miryam Lipper, the communications director for Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate facing Republican Sen. David Perdue in the state’s other runoff, wrote, “This is Georgia’s GOP.”

Doles was previously dismissed from a September Loeffler event by Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), according to the AJC.

“Yes, I asked him to be removed. He is not welcome at any events that I attend. Period,” Greene told the outlet. “I don’t know him and have no relationship with him. He’s not a donor and has never worked for the campaign.”

Editor’s note: The headline on this story was updated at 8:45 p.m. to reflect that Sen. Loeffler condemned Chester Doles, a white supremacist who posted a photo with the senator. An earlier version of this story included incorrect information. 

Tags Atlanta Journal Baltimore Sun chester Doles David Perdue Hammerskins Kelly Loeffler Kelly Loeffler Ku Klux Klan southern poverty Southern Poverty Law Center White supremacy

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