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Alabama Democratic Party calls on Florence mayoral candidates to denounce KKK ahead of election

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FLORENCE, Ala. — The Alabama Democratic Party is demanding that candidates in the Florence municipal runoff election denounce the Ku Klux Klan ahead of October 6.

In a statement, the party said voters deserve to hear directly from the candidates for mayor in denouncing what it’s calling, white supremacist activity.

They say this should include disavowing the KKK and agreeing to remove the Confederate monument in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse. The statement, however, only called for action from incumbent Mayor Steve Holt.

“He’s had several opportunities to call it like it is and he’s failed to do so,” Chris England, Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party said. “The only conclusion that you can draw from someone who will not publicly disavow the support of the KKK and discuss getting rid of Confederate relics in their city, is that they’re either sympathetic or they support those sorts of things.”

News 19 reached out to Mayor Holt’s office to ask about the statement:

“I’m not going to be drawn into an obvious political stunt. The people of Florence know me. The real question is why is the state Democrat Party suddenly trying to interject themselves into this campaign 5 days before the election. It’s obvious which candidate they are attacking and which candidate they are supporting.”

Mayor Steve Holt

See below for the full statement from the Alabama Democratic Party:

“On October 6th, Florence voters will go to the polls to elect a new mayor. Before Election Day, the citizens of Florence deserve to hear directly from the candidates for mayor in denouncing white supremacist activity in Florence, disavowing the KKK, and agreeing to remove the Confederate Monument that stands in front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

Mayor Steve Holt has stated that he supports “differing viewpoints” among the protests surrounding the Confederate monument in downtown Florence. One of those “differing viewpoints” is literally the Ku Klux Klan. Amid violent threats to peaceful protestors, Mayor Holt still refused to denounce these “differing viewpoints” from the KKK.

Even our racist President, Donald Trump, a man who this week refused to condemn white supremacists has at least declared the KKK a terrorist group. Is Mayor Holt even more racist than Donald Trump? 

If the Mayor refuses to condemn the KKK and white supremacy, the statue on Court Street isn’t the only monument to white supremacy that needs to be removed, the Confederate relic serving as Florence’s mayor needs to be removed as well. 

Mayor Holt – will you publicly disavow the KKK and white supremacy ahead of Election Day? Florence voters deserve to know before they vote.” 

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