A former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who spent time in prison for beating a black man is running for office in Georgia as a GOP ‘white civil rights activist.’
Earlier this month, Chester Doles, 61, who was once known as the Grand Klaliff of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Maryland, announced plans to run for a seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners.
However, an investigation by CBS Atlanta determined that Doles is unqualified to hold elected office in Georgia because he’s a convicted felon. In 1993, Doles spent time in federal prison after he was convicted of beating a Black man in Maryland; in 2003, he was convicted of weapons violations in Georgia and spent four more years behind bars.
According to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, convicted felons can run for and hold public office if they get their civil rights restored and if at least 10 years have passed since they completed their prison term.
Although Doles is past the 10-year requirement, the Georgia Republican Party told CBS46 that the former KKK leader’s rights “were not restored in time for the qualifying deadline,” which was March 8.
Despite his ineligibility, Doles maintains that he still plans on running for a commissioner seat, even if that means taking his case to court.
“They have violated my civil rights,” he told CBS46. “We’re gonna ask for damages. My attorney is reviewing the case right now. They’ve caused me major damages. I have thousands of dollars in campaign signs, billboards, radio commercials.”