NEW ORLEANS – Former Ku Klux Klan (search) leader David Duke (search), in federal prison after pleading guilty to mail and tax fraud, is considering a run for Congress when he is released this year, his secretary said Friday.
Roy Armstrong said Duke is considering entering the race for the seat of Republican Rep. David Vitter (search). In 1999, Duke finished third in the primary for that seat.
Armstrong said Duke could be released to a halfway house in mid-April, a year after he began his prison term.
"He was skeptical that he would be able to raise the money to run an effective campaign in time, but he said he would consider his options," Armstrong said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Duke, whose telephone privileges are limited, could not be reached for comment.
The seat probably will be open because Vitter has said he is running for U.S. Senate.
Duke would not be the first convicted felon to run for federal office. For example, James Traficant (search), a former Ohio congressman convicted of bribery and racketeering charges, unsuccessfully ran for a House seat from prison in 2002.
The plea agreement Duke signed in 2002 did not restrict his right to run for office, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said.
Duke spent one term in the Louisiana House in the late 1980s, but lost elections for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and governor in 1991.
In his federal trial, Duke was accused of bilking supporters by representing himself as being in dire financial straits while actually living extravagantly. Duke denied the accusations.