The Latest: Ex-Gov. Edwards surprised at Duke’s Senate bid


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s announcement that he will run for U.S. Senate (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, who beat David Duke during a contentious 1991 gubernatorial race, says he was surprised to hear that Duke is now running for Senate.

Edwards told The Associated Press that Duke faces a “hard row to hoe” in the upcoming election but said there might be a “niche” for him.

He said that niche might involve capitalizing on racial unrest.

Edwards noted that unlike some other candidates in the crowded field, Duke already has plenty of statewide name recognition.

Duke signed up Friday to run for a seat being vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Both Edwards and Duke are convicted felons, with Edwards convicted of corruption and Duke of bilking supporters. Edwards’ reputation for scandal and Duke’s racial beliefs were central to the 1991 race.

1:20 p.m.

White supremacist David Duke says he believes “my time has come” after he signed up for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race.

Duke said Friday he has espoused principles for years that are similar to the themes Republicans are embracing now in the candidacy of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, on issues such as immigration and trade.

He says the majority of Americans “are embracing the core issues I have fought for my entire life.”

In a lengthy speech, Duke said the recent slayings of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge were among the catalysts for his Senate bid. He said he wanted to expose racism against “European Americans,” and said the media is biased against him because he was a Ku Klux Klan leader four decades ago.

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Noon

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has officially signed up to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke registered Friday, the final day of Louisiana’s qualifying period. A registered Republican, he is seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Duke’s candidacy comes as Louisiana is grappling with deep racial tensions after the shooting death of a black man by white police officers and the killing of three law enforcement officers by a black man.

A white supremacist, Duke served one term as a state representative representing suburban New Orleans more than two decades ago. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1991 against Democrat Edwin Edwards.

Duke, a convicted felon, pleaded guilty in 2002 to bilking supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison.

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11 a.m.

The Republican Party of Louisiana is condemning former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who says he will run for the U.S. Senate.

Chairman Roger Villere says in a statement issued Friday that the party vehemently opposes Duke’s candidacy, calling him “a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”

Duke is a registered Republican seeking an open seat being vacated by Republican David Vitter. Nearly two dozen candidates have signed up for the Senate race.

The white supremacist served one term as a state representative representing suburban New Orleans more than two decades ago.

He also is a convicted felon, pleading guilty in 2002 to bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison.

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10:30 a.m.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he plans to run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Duke’s announcement came Friday on his website.

A registered Republican, he would be seeking an open seat vacated by Republican David Vitter.

Duke’s announcement comes as Louisiana is grappling with deep racial tensions after the shooting death of a black man by white police officers and the killing of three law enforcement officers by a black man.

A white supremacist, Duke served one term as a state representative representing suburban New Orleans more than two decades ago. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1991 against Democrat Edwin Edwards.

Duke is a convicted felon, pleading guilty in 2002 to bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes. He spent a year in federal prison.

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