Georgia Election Official Avoids Ex-Klansman Amid Safety Concern

Brad Raffensperger
Brad Raffensperger

(Bloomberg) -- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Wednesday avoided an encounter with a former Ku Klux Klan member who showed up looking for him at the Atlanta statehouse. Armed militias were demonstrating there at the same time protesters were storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Chester Doles, a former KKK member who heads a far-right group called American Patriots USA, confirmed he’s the man in suspenders captured by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution photographer, carrying a paper in his left hand as he walked through the statehouse. The paper, Doles said by phone Wednesday evening, was a “redress of grievances” regarding the presidential election, which he called a “sham.”

@GaSecofState out of Georgia's Capitol as Trump supporters protest in downtown Atlanta: https://t.co/75gCVGGu1X pic.twitter.com/Mx8RsHkL14

— AJC (@ajc) January 6, 2021

Before Doles arrived, though, Raffensperger was escorted from the Capitol. Raffensperger has drawn national attention since Jan. 2, when President Donald Trump called him and asked him to “find” thousands of votes to allow Trump to claim victory in Georgia, according a recording of the call.

Doles made his own headlines by appearing in a photo with incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler during her campaign, which she lost to Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock. Loeffler later condemned Doles and said she hadn’t known who he was before the picture was taken.

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