White nationalist writer Peter Gemma resigns from Sarasota GOP executive committee after Media Matters and Herald-Tribune reports

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Peter Gemma, a white nationalist writer who has been involved in the Holocaust denial movement, has resigned from the Sarasota County Republican Party’s executive committee in Florida.

Political Editor Zac Anderson of the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota reported on October 1 that “Gemma has grudgingly resigned from the Sarasota GOP’s executive committee after the party moved to expel him following revelations he is linked to individuals and groups that have come under scrutiny for alleged racism and other extreme views.”

Media Matters reported on August 23 that Gemma held an event for Tommy Gregory, a Republican who is running for a Florida state House seat. Gemma has a long history of extremism; for instance:

  • The Washington Post reported in April 2005 that Gemma helped organize an event for David Irving, “a well-known Holocaust denier who has claimed that Jews were not killed in gas chambers at Auschwitz.”
  • The Anti-Defamation League wrote that in 2004, “Gemma introduced notorious Holocaust denier Mark Weber at a meeting of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), once the leading Holocaust denial organization in the United States.” The IHR stated on its website that Weber, who is the group's director, spoke about the Iraq War and characterized it as “a war to further the interests of Israel and organized Jewry.”
  • Gemma has been involved with leading white nationalist organizations and publications, including the Council of Conservative Citizens, The National Policy Institute, VDare, and The Occidental Quarterly.
  • Gemma edited a book lionizing the late white nationalist writer Sam Francis and has appeared on the white nationalist radio The Political Cesspool.

Anderson reported on September 9 that Gemma “joined the Sarasota County Republican Party Executive Committee this year and hosted meet-and-greet events at his house for two GOP candidates.” The Herald-Tribune political editor added:

But Gemma’s increasing immersion in the local political scene became controversial after the left-wing group Media Matters for America published an article highlighting his background.

Now some Sarasota GOP leaders -- though not all -- are distancing themselves from Gemma.

Party Chairman Joe Gruters says he will ask Gemma to resign from the executive committee, even as Gemma denies “any of the crazy stuff they say about me” and one prominent Hispanic Republican is coming to his defense.

Gemma has denied that he’s racist, reportedly “expressed regret about the event with David Irving,” and claimed he doesn’t agree with Holocaust denial.

Media Matters also noted that Kansas Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach cited a made-up anti-immigrant statistic from Gemma for a 2016 Breitbart column, which was also posted on Kobach’s campaign website.