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White supremacist sheriff candidate says he’s just a ‘concerned citizen’

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Shaun Winkler stands next to Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler during a 2001 Idaho protest (AP/Jason Hunt)

Distasteful and often baseless accusations of racial insensitivity are nothing new in politics. But one man running for sheriff in Idaho proudly proclaims his prejudice but says he won't discriminate on the job.

According to the Bonner County Daily Bee, local sheriff candidate Shaun Patrick Winkler, 33, has ties to the Aryan Nations and Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, both white supremacist organizations. And despite having taken part in race-based protests, Winkler says he's running in opposition to "increasing federal reach" into the county.

"Whether people will believe me or not, it will be entirely up to their own discretion," Winkler told the paper.

Winkler is running for the Republican nomination in Bonner County, which will be held on May 15, against two other men, including the current sheriff.

"I don't look at myself as a vigilante," Winkler said. "I look at myself as a concerned citizen."

Back in 2001, the creator of Prodigy Internet service provider, Greg Carr, purchased the Aryan Nations' headquarters in Idaho and turned it into a anti-racism museum and human rights center.

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