GOP nominee for Kentucky state House appeared on white nationalist show and complained about minorities

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

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

The Republican nominee to represent a state House district in Kentucky previously appeared on a white nationalist show and complained about minorities supposedly conspiring against whites. He 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.

In May, Everett Corley won the Republican nomination to represent the 43rd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives. The Republican Party of Kentucky lists Corley on its slate of “elected officials & candidates.”

In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran as a Republican and then as a third-party candidate for a U.S. House seat. In 2014, Corley also ran as a Republican for the 43rd District seat but lost in the general election (he ran then as Corley Everett but later changed his name).

During that 2014 campaign, Corley appeared on the August 8, 2014, edition of The Ethno State, a program associated with the white nationalist American Freedom Party and hosted by self-described white nationalist William Johnson. The American Freedom Party states that it is “both a political party and activist organization dedicated to the interests vital to the preservation and continuity of ethnic European communities within the United States of America.”

During the nearly hour-long show, Corley pushed white nationalist talking points and attacked minorities.

Johnson, who serves as the chairman of the American Freedom Party, began the episode featuring Corley by explaining that he named the show The Ethno State because people at his organization want 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.”

Corley later said that one thing that “struck” him about the American Freedom Party was that “if you’re a minority you can belong to all these groups that champion your ethno-background but you certainly [have] very little to do as a European or a Caucasian American.” Johnson replied: “Well that’s a good point and that’s a nice plug for the American Freedom Party.”

Corley also stated 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.”

Toward the end of the program, Johnson complained that Sen. Mitch McConnell is “interracially married and so he is taking a stand that will destroy the white race, and so in my mind you can -- you must vote for a Black man before you can vote for someone who is going to destroy our race by interracially marrying. You must vote for anybody but a white man who is interracially married.” (McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who is now President Donald Trump’s secretary of transportation.)

Corley responded, in part, by saying that he feels “we should maintain our people and our culture as much as anyone else, and that's a post -- and I’m not saying this in a bad way, but that’s a post, shall we say, marriage that has not born any children or anything. That’s simply a marriage of companionship, you understand what I’m saying? So, I don’t think he’s trying to make a statement about children on that marriage, I just simply think that that’s someone he relates to on an interpersonal relationship. But be that as it may, that primarily is not what I’m -- his marriage is not my problem, you know what I’m saying?" He then added, before being cut-off: "If he's capable of supporting the things I support in that situation, then that's -- if we're going to be against people --”

Johnson continued to criticize interracial dating, claiming: “Our society is dying in part because of interracial marriage.” Corley responded that he's “not trying to be too positive about this, but interracial marriage is just like -- is on the same par as what the gay agenda would be. Interracial marriage actually, Mr. Johnson, is an insignificant -- at least in Kentucky, is insignificant, it’s two, one and a half, two percent, just as the gay thing is one and a half, two percent, and it attracts enormous attention but at the end of the day, and I’m not trying to be positive, but 95 percent of people who are white, marry within their own people.”

A few months after Corley’s appearance on The Ethno State, The American Freedom Party endorsed Corley for his 2014 run.

During that race, then-Papa John's Pizza CEO John Schnatter -- who resigned from the company this year after he used the n-word in a conference call -- donated $250 to Corley’s campaign, as the Courier Journal's Phillip M. Bailey noted. U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) -- who was then the state's agricultural commissioner -- also attended a fundraiser for Corley in 2014.

Corley has continued his racist activities since his appearance on The Ethno State. In 2016, he joined an effort to stop the removal of a Confederate statue on the University of Louisville campus. He called University of Louisville professor Ricky Jones, who advocated for removing the statue, “a damn dirty black bastard” on Facebook. Corley later deleted the post and said it was “inexcusable”; lawyers who represented Corley in a lawsuit defending the statue later dropped him as a client, citing his “offensive and unwise remarks.”

*Following the publication of this piece, the American Freedom Party apparently removed The Ethno State episode with Corley. Media Matters downloaded the show beforehand; a copy of it is available here.