North Dakota mayor moves to abolish town government to prevent white supremacists from taking over

A North Dakota mayor is moving to abolish his town’s government amid fears that white supremacists are taking over city council seats.

Mayor Ryan Schock has collected at least a dozen signatures on a petition that would turn Leith’s governance over to the county, the Kansas City Star reported. Leith, with a population of about 16 people, is approximately 70 miles southwest of Bismarck.

Leith made national headlines in 2013 after Paul Craig Cobb moved to town and began to buy land to create an enclave for white supremacists, The New York Times reported.

Cobb has since left the small North Dakota town, but two men who moved to Leith around the same time as Cobb have won spots on the city council, according to the Kansas City Star.

“We have to dissolve the town because that idiot [Cobb] showed up,” Schock reportedly said. “He wanted control of it, and now he can’t have it.”

The two men elected to the city council have denied any involvement with Cobb.

This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, according to KFYR-TV. Schock told the news station that most of the tax money Leith receives – about $2,500 per year – goes toward plowing roads and maintaining street lights.

“Leith is always going to be here, the Leith signs are always going to be there,” Schock told KFYR. “It’s just not going to have a council and mayor anymore if this resolution goes through.”

Leith citizens are set to vote on the resolution on July 23.

Cobb was eventually arrested for terrorizing the citizens of Leith after he wandered the town carrying guns.