“Pro-White,” Nazi-Saluting Gov. Candidate Will Be on Missouri Ballot

A white supremacist candidate will remain on the Missouri GOP’s ballot for governor, according to a state judge who rejected a lawsuit brought by the Missouri Republican Party.

The state GOP had attempted to boot Darrell Leon McClanahan III from the August election after photos resurfaced in February of McClanahan giving a Nazi salute while posing with a hooded Ku Klux Klan member. But the action was too little too late to keep his name from appearing on the ballot beside the likes of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, and state Senator Bill Eigel. Instead, it will be up to Republican voters in Missouri to decide if they want a “pro-White” candidate leading the “Show-Me” state.

“The Plaintiff did not present to the Court any evidence that having McClanahan on a primary election ballot would cause it any injury,” wrote circuit court Judge Cotton Walker in his ruling Friday. “McClanahan’s presence on the primary election ballot is not necessarily an endorsement of the candidate by the party.”

Still, McClanahan’s blatantly racist views weren’t exactly a secret before he filed to run—nor was it the Missouri GOP’s first time accepting filing fees and candidacy paperwork from him in a local election. The known white supremacist had a failed run for U.S. Senate in 2022, when he placed fifteenth in a group of 21 candidates, pulling more than 1,100 votes.

McClanahan has not rejected his ties to white supremacist groups but has instead tried to downplay them, saying he is just an “honorary” member rather than a formal member of the Knight’s Party Ku Klux Klan. He identifies with the racist religious sect Christian Identity and has attended several events hosted by the Arkansas-based Christian Identity Klan, including a cross burning, which he attempted to brush off by describing the event as “religious Christian Identity Cross lighting ceremony.”

McClanahan also attended the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protest—an experience that he wrote positively about for the Knights Party’s newsletter, The Torch, cataloging his descent into far-right, race-based radicalization.

McClanahan’s attorney, Dave Roland, celebrated the outcome, telling the Columbia Missourian that the ruling will keep party leaders from having “almost unlimited discretion to choose who’s going to be allowed on a primary ballot.”

“I’m not sure they ever actually intended to win this case,” Roland told the publication. “I think the case got filed because the Republican Party wanted to make a very big public show that they don’t want to be associated with racism or antisemitism. And the best way that they could do that was filing a case that they knew was almost certain to lose.”

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Kim browne

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