On August 11th, Georgia Congressional candidates Marjorie Taylor Greene (14th District) and Matt Gurtler (9th District) will compete in runoff elections for their Districts’ Republican nominations. Greene faces John Cowan for the 14th District nomination, while Gurtler is competing against Andrew Clyde in the 9th District. Both the 9th and the 14th Districts lean heavily Republican, so whoever wins the GOP nomination for each of these districts is likely to take a seat in Congress. Both Greene and Gurtler have ties to American Patriots USA, an ostensibly pro-Trump organization with roots in the neo-Nazi and Klan undergrounds.
We have covered the “American Patriots USA” (APUSA) organization in north Georgia since it was formed last year, in the wake of a September far-Right rally in Dahlonega. That rally’s organizer and APUSA’s leader, Chester Doles, has a history spanning decades in the white supremacist movement. Doles led a Ku Klux Klan group, operated the Georgia unit of the neo-Nazi “National Alliance”, and more recently supported the violent Hammerskins racist gang. Other white nationalists are also involved with APUSA, and Doles has boasted that there is no “Jew loving [… in] this Crew”. The organization has also built tactical alliances with some far-Right people of color.
As we documented in our May article, Doles has now built bridges to Republican candidates. In late February, Doles and other members posed with Marjorie Taylor Greene behind an APUSA banner. In March, State House Representative and current GA09 candidate Matt Gurtler talked to an APUSA meeting and posed for a group photo.
Last night, State House Representative and candidate in the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional District, Matt Gurtler, issued a statement decrying “sleazy attacks” and the “fake news media”. These comments arrived two months after Gurtler talked to a meeting of American Patriots USA (APUSA) – a white nationalist front group founded by Klansmen and neo-Nazis – and two days after the story broke in the media.
In his comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Matt Gurtler doubled down by calling APUSA a “pro-gun, conservative group that supports President Trump”. At the March meeting, Gurtler portrayed the organization as a positive response to “socialism on the rise”.
The core members of APUSA are committed white supremacists. Founder Chester Doles is an unreformed neo-Nazi who continues to network within the racist scene and circulate its propaganda. Another key APUSA member, Michael Carothers AKA Michael Weaver, maintains the “White Information Network” site, where he asks readers to support terrorists such as “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph.
Militant white nationalists have led
a wave of terror in recent years, with outrages such as the Tree of Life
synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018; the Christchurch, New Zealand
mosque attacks last year; and August’s racist massacre in El Paso. While
Gurtler mouths empty catchphrases such as, “Racism doesn’t have any place in
our community”, his actions embolden the racist movement.
It is reprehensible for Matt Gurtler to hide behind his “Mexican-American” wife after supporting white supremacists. His wife’s ancestry is irrelevant to Gurtler’s political decision. Gurtler’s response is particularly obscene since APUSA founder Chester Doles has targeted and scapegoated Latino communities in north Georgia for twenty years.
Instead of admitting poor judgment,
Gurtler howls for his critics to “Bring it.”
If you oppose antisemitism and white supremacy, speak out when they are normalized.
8/10/2020: update on Matt Gurtler and Marjorie Taylor Greene here.
As this report was being prepared for publication Thursday evening, far-Right militiaman and 9th Congressional District candidate Michael Boggus released a video on Facebook, stating that he is the new State Director for American Patriots USA. Since neo-Nazi Chester Doles and the white supremacists around Doles remain in the organization, we assume this is a shell game.
Summary: American Patriots USA (APUSA) was formed last year in north Georgia by Chester Doles, a longtime neo-Nazi. As documented in this and earlierreports, the organization is a thinly disguised front group for white supremacists. APUSA has spent the last few months building a broader front of “constitutionalist” Republican candidates, including several people of color, which it uses to mask its agenda. The white power organization even hosted a current State House Representative, Matthew Gurtler, at their March meeting. We document APUSA’s “Trojan horse” effort and highlight the complicity of GOP candidates and networks in normalizing white supremacist organizing.