Republican Party of Kentucky denounces state House candidate following Media Matters report

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

The Republican Party of Kentucky has denounced its nominee for a state House seat after Media Matters documented that he appeared on a white nationalist program and criticized minorities.

Media Matters reported on September 6 that Everett Corley, who is the Republican nominee to represent the 43rd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives, appeared on the white nationalist program The Ethno State in 2014. The show was hosted by self-described white nationalist William Johnson and was associated with the white nationalist American Freedom Party.

Corley pushed white nationalist talking points during that program. Among his comments, he said that white people in his community are “completely surrounded by” minorities and he personally feels that there are “a bunch of white liberals and then minorities who've -- conspired together to cut the white working class out of power in Jefferson County.”

Corley also discussed Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) interracial marriage, stating that he believes “we should maintain our people” but also suggesting that McConnell’s “marriage is not my problem” because it hasn’t produced any children.

The Courier Journal’s Phillip M. Bailey reported today that the Republican Party of Kentucky has distanced itself from Corley’s candidacy. From the Louisville-based paper’s report:

Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson said in a statement Friday that Corley is a “perennial candidate with a history of offensive statements and behavior.”

“His views do not reflect those of the Republican Party of Kentucky,” he said. “He has not received aid or assistance from the party in the past nor will he in the future.”

Watson said Corley's picture and campaign information has been taken off the GOP website.

Corley said he doesn't intend to drop out of the race but questions the timing of the 2014 interview becoming more public months ahead of this year's midterm election.

The paper reported that Corley “said his comments were provocative but not racist.”

Corley, who is a realtor, said Thursday that his comments on the program were no different from what some social scientists have said about U.S. economic conditions. He said his comments were provocative but not racist.

“I'm not a racist, and I could give you a string of reasons why I'm not,” he said. “My entire business life has been dependent on finding good homes for all people, half of which are African-Americans, and all would tell you I treat them with respect.”

Corley also bizarrely told the Courier Journal “that he didn't know exactly what Johnson meant when he called himself a white nationalist." The paper quoted Corley saying that if Johnson “said he was a racist, a neo-Nazi or a member of the Klan, I would have hung up.”

His defense is nonsensical -- during his program featuring Corley, Johnson repeatedly espoused blatantly racist views. For instance, Johnson began the show by explaining that his organization wants to “create an ethnostate, one where our people, European Americans, can reside without the influence and all of the pullings and tuggings of the difficulties that occurred through this multicultural society that we live in now.” He also said Sen. McConnell is “interracially married and so he is taking a stand that will destroy the white race” and that “our society is dying in part because of interracial marriage.”

Republican officials have had to repeatedly denounce candidates this cycle for espousing racist views.