Last week, he wanted the Ku Klux Klan to "night ride again." Friday, he gave up his job to a black woman. Welcome to the strange month of Goodloe Sutton, who will retain ownership of the Democrat-Reporter of Linden, Alabama, but apparently gave editorial control to employee Elecia Dexter, the AP reports. "This is everybody's paper," says Dexter, 46, of the hand-over. "I think it can be helpful." The move follows a shocking editorial in which Sutton, 80, criticized Democrats for "plotting to raise taxes" and wrote, "Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there. ... Truly, they are the ruling class." The editorial triggered an intense backlash from lawmakers who called on him to resign and the Alabama Press Association, which censured him, per AL.com, but Sutton refused to apologize.
He even doubled down in an interview published Monday by the Montgomery Advisor: "If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out DC we'd all been better off," he said. "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them." Now he's made Dexter (who says she was hired only this year) the newspaper's publisher and editor: "Over the past 10 years, she has been a strategic leader with expertise in human resources, operations and change management," the paper says in a press release. Sutton is aiming to sell the $1 weekly, which has been in his family for decades and has a circulation of 3,000. As for the editorial, still no regrets: "It got me about $10 million in free publicity," he says. "I know I would do it all over again." (Read more Ku Klux Klan stories.)