David Duke May Run For Congress
Ex-Ku Klux Klan leader says he considering running if Rep. Livingston retires
By Carin Dessauer/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 5) -- Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is seriously weighing a run for Congress, CNN has learned.
"It certainly is a strong possibility," Duke told CNN Thursday, referring to the possibility that he would run for Congress should Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) retire.
Duke, the founder of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, said he would run only if Livingston retires and he is not considering running for any other office at this time.
Livingston is considering retiring after his term this year, state and national Republican political officials said. But a senior aide to the congressman dismissed the talk as "rumors and speculation."
"Every two years the congressman goes through this process," his aide
said. Still, the aide did say that Livingston will "make a decision later this month."
In 1988 Duke ran for president under the Populist Party's banner.
Later that year he won a seat in the state House in Louisiana.
In 1990, Duke emerged as a state political force when he ran for Senate as a Republican and garnered 44 percent, holding Democratic Sen. Bennett Johnston to 54 percent.
In 1991, national Republicans supported Democrat-turned-Republican
former Gov. Buddy Roemer for the governorship over Duke. Still Duke got
32 percent of the vote in the open primary, just beating out Roemer.
Duke then faced former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards in the runoff, and Edwards ultimately recaptured his old seat. Duke got 39 percent of the vote in the general election runoff.
In 1992, Duke made an aborted run for the GOP presidential nomination and when he ran for Senate in 1996, he garnered only 12 percent of the primary vote.
Livingston, who is serving his 11th term, is chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee. Some Louisiana politicos and some national GOP officials think that Livingston, 53, is considering retiring because he wants to make money than he does in government.
State and national GOP officials said Duke has not discussed a
possible run for Congress with them and they were not encouraging such a run. Privately, national and state Democratic operatives admit that a Duke candidacy would boost the Democrats' chances of regaining the seat, should Livingston retire.