Shaun Winkler has held some horrifying, racially-charged allegiances. He has been an Aryan Nations member and Ku Klux Klan leader, and now Winkler wants to be the sheriff in a rural Idaho county near the Canadian border.
With power comes influence and with a tarnished background comes fear over what someone may do with his or her power and control. The white power activist is running as a Republican in the May 15 Bonner County primary to become the top law enforcement officer.
"I believe it's about time that we have a strong law enforcement stance against certain criminals in our neighborhood," Winkler said in an interview with KXLY-TV, a local television station. "It's not that I hate anybody who's not white. Again I'm a white separatist. I believe there should be separation and segregation in every community."
Here's how Reuters describes his run for office:
The 33-year-old is running for sheriff in Bonner County, Idaho, despite his affiliation with the Aryan Nation and the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian. He calls himself a “concerned citizen,” and believes law enforcement isn’t doing enough to combat drugs and sex offenders. He also claims he won’t discriminate on the job. Whether or not voters will believe Shaun Winkler remains to be seen, but some question whether he should even be able to run for office. He’s an admitted white supremacist running for a law enforcement position. That’s got to be illegal, right? Wrong. There’s nothing illegal about a white supremacist sheriff candidate.
Winkler said despite the white supremacist beliefs he holds as a KKK imperial wizard, his brand of justice would be color blind. Considering the radical group he is associated with, embracing such a notion may be a tough pill to swallow for some locals.
As mentioned, he's running on a platform that includes coming down hard on sex offenders and meth manufacturers, and reducing the impact of federal law enforcement at the county level.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.