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‘She’s ‘been campaigning with a Klansman’: Ossoff hits back at Loeffler’s criticism of Warnock

Campaign previously insisted senator had ‘no idea’ she had posed with white supremacist in photograph

Louise Hall
Thursday 31 December 2020 14:50 GMT
Kelly Loeffer responds to previous comments about BLM being 'fascist'

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff has hit back at Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler’s criticism of Democratic Rev Raphael Warnock saying she has been “campaigning with a Klansman.”

The comments came after Sen Loeffler, who is facing Rev Warnock in the Georgia run-off special election in January, labelled reports of alleged abuse at a camp overseen by Democratic candidate Rev Warnock “disgusting” and “disqualifying”.

On Wednesday Mr Ossoff, who is running against Republican incumbent David Perdue in the regular election, addressed whether he thought the allegations would impact the election race early next week.

“Rev Warnock addressed this issue a year ago, and here’s the bottom line: Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a Klansman,” Mr Ossoff said in an interview with Fox News.

“She is stooping to these vicious personal attacks to distract from the fact that she’s been campaigning with a former member of the Ku Klux Klan,” he added.  

“I mean, we deserve better than that here in Georgia.”

The comment referenced Sen Loeffler’s appearance in a picture with a former Ku Klux Klan member at a rally last month. The senator's campaign said she had ‘no idea’ who it was with when it was taken.

“Kelly had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for,” Stephen Lawson, Sen Loeffler’s campaign spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.

The Georgia senator faced significant backlash when the photo of her alongside Chester Doles, a long-time white supremacist who spent decades in the Ku Klux Klan and was associated with a racist skinhead gang called the Hammerskins, emerged online.

Rev Warnock also released a statement expressing skepticism at Sen Loeffler’s campaign's response saying the senator “runs a campaign based on dividing and misleading Georgians.”

Neither Sen Loeffler nor Rev Warnock’s campaign immediately responded to The Independent’s request for further comment.

The Georgia runoff elections will place in Georgia on 5 January 2021, and could determine which party holds power of the senate.

If Democrats manage to secure both seats in the January Election, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris would have a deciding vote whenever there is a 50-50 tie in the Senate.

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