According to reports, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who qualified for office is no longer able to run.
Chester Doles’ affidavit to run for county commissioner in north Georgia was granted in early March, he said. His application was detected by the Georgia Republican Party due to his criminal past, according to CBS 46.
Doles said he’s seeking a civil rights lawyer to help him appeal the ruling.
“If the courts have to interpret this for them, so be it,” Doles added. “They’ve done a lot of damage to me.” Thousands of dollars have been committed for campaign signs, billboards, and radio advertising.”
Doles was convicted of beating a Black man in 1993 and sentenced to four years in prison for federal firearms charges in 2003. In this year’s election, he ran for a seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners.
People who have been convicted of a felony can run for office in Georgia if it has been at least 10 years since their sentence was completed and their rights have been restored. They must also pay all penalties and fees, as well as refrain from committing any other crimes.
Last year, Doles told reporters that his rights had been restored. Georgians who want their rights restored must apply to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Doles has a copy of his March 8 application, which is stamped and signed.
Doles said he was “completely qualified as a candidate” and that “all filing costs have been filed and paid” in a tweet the same day.
According to CBS 46, the Georgia Republican Party discovered that Doles’ privileges were not restored in time for him to run in the election.
It’s unclear whether Doles submitted an application or completed the rights restoration process. On the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, his name does not appear among the Lumpkin County candidates.
Applicants must declare on the candidacy affidavit that they are not “knowingly” making “any false representations” or “subject” to “criminal consequences.”
Doles used to be the Grand Klaliff of the Invisible Empire, the Ku Klux Klan’s Knights. He was also a member of the National Alliance, a Nazi political group, and the Hammerskins, a racist skinhead gang. Doles, on the other hand, claims to have altered his mind and “renounced prejudice.”
He compared himself to Black civil rights heroes Hosea Williams and the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis in an earlier interview with CBS 46.
“If you look at Hosea Williams, you’ll notice that he was a member of the City Council. He was arrested 168 times in his life. “It’s not a basis to reject someone because Congressman John Lewis was arrested 68 times,” Doles remarked. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a civil rights activist or not; I’m a white civil rights activist.”
Doles ran a campaign based on patriotism and “anti-wokeness” in the United States.