Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, an avowed white supremacist, picked up enough public support to qualify for Louisiana’s televised Senate debate next month being held at Dillard University – a historically black college in New Orleans.
Duke tweeted the news Oct. 20 – “Important News! I qualified
for the U.S. Senate most important debate in Louisiana on Nov. 2. I can’t wait to tell truth nobody else dares!”
Candidates must pull in at least 5 percent in a poll taken for Raycom Media to qualify for the debate.
Duke made the cut with 5.1 percent. He trails Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy’s 24.2 percent and Democrat Foster Campbell’s 18.9 percent in the race for retiring GOP Sen. David Vitter's seat.
“That’s amazing,” Duke said when he learned he would participate in the Nov. 2 debate.
“Dillard is pretty supportive of Black Lives Matter, and I’ve been pretty critical of them,” Duke told The Acadiana Advocate.
According to the paper, he cited some security concerns but said he planned on attending.
On Saturday, Dillard University released a statement saying the university “does not endorse the candidacy of any of the candidates who will appear” at the debate.
Duke, a former Republican state representative and convicted felon, said “the climate of this country has moved in my direction.”
After submitting his paperwork for the ballot in July, Duke said he believed his “time has come.”
Duke has publicly praised Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – though Trump disavowed Duke in March.