Montana Politics

Jun 12, 2011 8:02 PM by Alex Grubb (Great Falls)

Former KKK member vies for lone Montana House seat

Since Denny Rehberg's announcement that he's running for the Senate, several candidates have emerged for Montana's sole seat in the House of Representatives.

One candidate who's received national attention is Great Falls resident John Abarr, who works as a night auditor at a local motel.

While many candidates would try and keep their ties to the Ku Klux Klan private, Abarr says he would encourage anyone to join.

With no support from the Republican party and very few others willing to associate with him, Abarr says even if he doesn't win, it's important that he run for office anyway.

"When Barack Obama got elected to office I decided to get back into politics because it seems to me that white people are losing the majority vote," Abarr said.

Originally getting involved with the KKK at the age of 16, Abarr says he doesn't want to see minorities elected to political office.

"When that happens, everything is going to go downhill, the entitlements are going to increase, welfare benefits are going to increase," Abarr said.

While Abarr doesn't want African Americans and other minorities to have political power, he does support Native Americans.

"I'd like to see Indians maintain control of their lands and have total dominance over their because it's their property and they should be able to do whatever they want with it," Abarr said.

Despite running as a Republican, parts of Abarr's platform seem to stray from the party's social platform. He supports a woman's right to choose, along with the legalization of marijuana and opposes the death penalty. Abarr also believes the age to join the military should be raised to 21. Economically, he supports a flat income tax, wants to reduce spending and hold the Federal Reserve accountable through an audit. No longer a member of the KKK, he believes the group is still relevant but realizes his affiliation may prevent him from being elected.

With very little support, Abarr realizes he may not even get the chance to actually run. But he says it's not about winning.

"I just want to raise awareness to the fact that white people are becoming a minority and when that happens we're going to lose political power and when that happens entitlements are going to increase and white people are going to be carrying a big burden," Abarr said.

Montana Republican Party Executive Director Bowen Greenwood says the GOP in no way supports or endorses Abarr's campaign and tells KRTV, "As far as we're concerned, Steve Daines still has an uncontested primary."

Daines announced in February he would run for Congress.

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