(WISCONSIN) — Earlier this week, it was reported that Dave Armstrong, the Republican candidate for the 75th Assembly District, has shared a litany of disturbing and racist content on his personal social media accounts. One such video features former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.

This report comes only one week after The Associated Press revealed Armstrong’s history of promoting baseless QAnon conspiracy theories on various social media platforms. Since the story was published, Armstrong has hidden his profile from public view, which contains years of obscene posts.

In response, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Courtney Beyer released the following statement regarding Armstrong’s racist social media posts:

“These revelations are completely disqualifying. Dave Armstrong and his racist ideology belong nowhere near the legislature, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin should immediately denounce his candidacy.”

Dave Armstrong For Assembly is chaired by Representative Romaine Quinn, and the campaign committee has received financial support from the Wisconsin Republican Assembly Campaign Committee.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bice: Republican Assembly candidate posted video featuring former KKK leader David Duke

  • People responded with shock and outrage when a white supremacist murdered nine Black individuals in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June 2015. Some called for the Confederate flag to be taken down in public places while others brought up reparations for African Americans. David Armstrong would have none of it.
  • Armstrong, a Republican running for the state Assembly, posted a series of highly questionable tweets in the weeks after the church shooting.
  • On July 10, 2015, Armstrong tweeted out a video on “slavery’s dirtiest secrets exposed” featuring former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. In it, Duke makes the dubious claim that Blacks are more likely than whites to have ancestors who owned slaves in antebellum America, thereby undercutting, he said, the argument for reparations and “discrimination against whites.”
  • Armstrong, who is running in a district that tilts Republican, ended his tweet on the video by asking, “Apologies are due to who by whom?” 
  • Around the same time, the Rice Lake business leader posted three tweets pushing back on efforts to remove the Confederate flag from public places. In one from July 25, 2015, he linked to a story on a congressional vote to ban the Confederate flag at federal cemeteries.
  • “I’m shocked,” said John Ellenson, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison basketball player running against Armstrong in the 75th Assembly District in November. “Wow.”
  • An official with the state Democratic Party condemned the tweets. “These revelations are completely disqualifying,” said Courtney Beyer, spokeswoman for the Democrats. “Dave Armstrong and his racist ideology belong nowhere near the Legislature.”
  • “The first thing I would like to make abundantly clear is that I am not and never have been a supporter or believer in the KKK or David Duke,” Armstrong said via email. “They are reprehensible and have no place in our society.”
  • He offered no apologies for his posts on the Confederate flag.
  • Armstrong, executive director of the Barron County Economic Development Corp., was recruited to run by state Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Barron), who is not running for re-election.
  • Over the years, he has written critically of Muslims, former President Barack Obama and various Democrats. 
  • His David Duke post links to a video that is a hodgepodge of clips on the role of Blacks in the African slave trade and antebellum slavery. It ends with Duke suggesting that a high percentage of Blacks owned slaves in New Orleans, leading him to say that a Black person is “far more likely” to have a direct ancestor who owned Black slaves than is a white person.
  • Ellenson said he believes his opponent is far too radical for their Assembly district.
  • He said Armstrong’s association with white supremacy makes the region appear a “regressive backwater,” something that he said is not true.
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