House Candidate Used to Be Nazi Re-Enactor
It's just history, says Ohio's Rich Iott
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2010 2:21 PM CDT
File photo.   (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

(Newser) – A Republican House candidate in Ohio is busy today explaining why he used to dress up as a Nazi in re-enactments. Rich Iott got the unwelcome publicity courtesy of Joshua Green in the Atlantic, who broke the story (with photos) of Iott's years-long affiliation with a group called Wiking that re-enacts the exploits of a former Nazi division of the same name. Iott, who's backed by the Tea Party, insists he's not a Nazi-lover and that his interest was "purely historical."

The group's website has a disclaimer to that effect, though Green points out that the site "makes scant mention" of any atrocities. Iott says he hopes voters "take it in context and see it for what it is, an interest in World War II history. And that's strictly all." Time will tell: It's already getting strong play in the hometown Toledo Blade, and Green discussed it on Bill Maher's HBO show last night.