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A man running for office in Tennessee stands by Facebook post endorsing Confederate flag

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Updated April 09, 2018 08:44 PM EDT

by John Engel (WCYB)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A former Tennessee county sheriff said he stands by his social media post depicting family members holding a Confederate flag.

Kent Harris, the former Unicoi County Sheriff, is now running for a Washington County, Tenn. Board of Commissioners seat. He said he will not be removing a post to his campaign Facebook page which shows support for two women holding a Confederate flag.

The post received hundreds of comments, mostly critical of Harris' decision to share the picture.

"I want to thank Wanda and Flossie White my cousins for this photo and their support of me throughout the years. Fine people. Proud of their heritage," the post read.

Harris defended the post to our affiliate WCYB, saying he is proud of his heritage.

"There's not a racist bone in my body," Harris said. "I would be the first to step in if I see anyone mistreating anyone of any race."

Harris says he does not intend to remove the post, claiming the majority of the people who commented words of criticism were from outside the Tennessee.

At last check, the post does not appear on his Facebook page. Kent said that's because Facebook removed the post on Monday. He told WCYB that he plans to repost it again on Monday.

Early voting in Washington County begins Wednesday.

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