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David Duke (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Former KKK leader David Duke to make a run for Senate in Louisiana



David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan wizard, is entering the political limelight for the first time in 17 years by running for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. He made the announcement on Friday in Baton Rouge.

Duke once served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for one term in 1989. He's now running to fill a seat vacated by Sen. David Vitter.

"I'm proud to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate," Duke said in a video. "I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and heritage of European Americans."

Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, quickly spoke out against Duke.

"The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke's candidacy for any public office," Villere said in a statement. "David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.

"David Duke's history of hate marks a dark stain on Louisiana's past and has no place in our current conversation. The Republican Party of Louisiana will play an active role in opposing David Duke's candidacy."

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