Klansman Running for Idaho Sheriff
Views on race won't be an issue, white supremacist claims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2012 2:00 AM CDT
Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan march in Pulaski, Tennessee.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A white supremacist in Idaho seeking to swap his white hood for a sheriff's badge says voters should look at his position on crime, not race. Shaun Winkler, who is the leader of the local White Knights of the KKK and has links to the Aryan Nation, hopes to beat the incumbent sheriff and a serving police officer to the Republican nomination, despite his lack of any law enforcement experience. The 33-year-old candidate says he was inspired to run by what he sees as federal over-reach in Bonner County.

Winkler—who was convicted in 2004 on charges of witness intimidation —says that not enough is being done to fight drug and sex offenses in the county. "I don’t look at myself as a vigilante; I look at myself as a concerned citizen," he tells the Bonner Daily Bee. He says that if elected, he won't let his views on race affect his performance as sheriff. "Whether people will believe me or not, it will be entirely up to their own discretion," he says.