Republicans condemn supremacist

Last modified: 7/7/2010 12:00:00 AM
The state Republican Party yesterday denounced a white supremacist New Hampshire House candidate and banned him from using party resources.

Ryan J. Murdough of Ashland is running as a Republican for a State House seat in Grafton County's 8th District. Murdough wrote in a letter to the Monitor, published Sunday, that he is state chairman of the American Third Position party. The party 'stands for the interests of white Americans,' Murdough wrote. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, the party aims to run white nationalist candidates for office in every state.

In response to the Monitor letter, Republican Party Chairman John H. Sununu has banned Murdough from attending Republican Party trainings, using party voter lists or getting any other assistance from the state party.

'We've been in contact with local Republicans in Grafton County to inform them this man is fraudulently posing as a Republican, is a racist and should be defeated in the upcoming primary,' said state Republican Party spokesman Ryan Williams.

Murdough said he is not surprised by the Republican response.

'I don't really need any Republican help. I wasn't looking for it in the first place,' Murdough said. 'As a whole, I think they've sold white people out.'

Five Republican candidates and three Democrats are running for three seats in the district, which includes Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Groton and Holderness.

According to voting records in a database maintained by the state Republican Party, Murdough voted in the 2008 general election as an undeclared voter. He did not vote in any other elections between 2002 and 2009.

Murdough said he changed his affiliation to Republican because it is easier to get on the ballot as a Republican than as an independent. To get on the ballot for state representative, a Democrat or Republican simply has to pay a filing fee of $2. An independent candidate has to submit 150 nomination papers signed by voters.

Williams said state Republicans never heard of Murdough until now and did not recruit him.

'We were unaware of his candidacy until we checked the secretary of state fees,' Williams said.

Bruce Perlo, chairman of the Grafton County Republican Committee, said the county group had never been in contact with Murdough.

'He's not a Republican,' Perlo said.

Perlo said the committee is not supporting Murdough and will not help him.

'We'll attempt to see, since there's a primary, that he's not a winner,' he said.

Murdough, 30, said he works with children with special needs at Spaulding Youth Center. The center confirmed Murdough is an employee but would not give further information. Murdough recently moved from Bridgewater to Ashland.

Murdough has never held political office. Murdough said he began to get interested in politics about five years ago.

'I saw things that were unfair and unjust and negatively affected me as a white person,' Murdough said.

Murdough said he was frustrated that while there was discussion of illegal immigration, no candidate would talk about the negative effects of legal immigration or about affirmative action, which he called 'discrimination against white people in the workplace.'

'(These topics are) controversial, considered racist and hateful,' Murdough said. 'The fear of being branded racist keeps many people silent.'

Murdough said he wants to talk about public safety.

'The most livable cities and towns in the U.S. have one common denominator,' he said. 'They're not very diverse.'

Murdough said that the safest cities are mostly white and that the most violent are not. In his letter, Murdough asked what would happen to New Hampshire once the white population drops.

'I don't want to see my state of New Hampshire become a city like Detroit,' Murdough said.

Murdough said he does not need Republican support because the American Third Position party will support him with money, a website and volunteers.

'If I want them to, they can send me activists, people from across the country that are willing to fly out and help people with their campaigns,' he said.

Murdough said he does not know of any other Third Position supporters in New Hampshire.

According to information from the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Third Position party was created late last year and started promoting itself to the public in January. The organization seems to be a successor to the Golden State Party in California, a racist group that was disbanded after it was revealed that its chairman was a felon.

The founder of American Third Position is William Johnson, a corporate attorney who has run unsuccessfully for office in California, Wyoming and Arizona. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Johnson supports repatriating blacks to Africa and 'has been cozy with Klansmen and neo-Nazi skinheads.' He has advocated in favor of limiting citizenship to non-Hispanic, non-Jewish whites. Other leaders in the group include Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic psychology professor from California, and James Edwards, who hosts a Tennessee-based white supremacist radio show.

State Rep. Jim Splaine, a Portsmouth Democrat and civil rights activist, said racism has always existed in New Hampshire.

'The way we best deal with it is to talk about it,' Splaine said. 'We need this discussion every now and then.'

State Rep. Philip Preston, an Ashland Democrat, said that when he read Murdough's letter, 'I wondered if this was the 21st century. It seems like that kind of thinking is part of our past, not our future.'

Purnell Ross, state coordinator for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said typically racism in New Hampshire is more subtle than overt white supremacy. Ross said minorities still have trouble finding jobs, and many city and town governments employ few if any individuals who are not white.

'People don't wear sheets over their heads so much anymore,' Ross said. 'They wear suits.'




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