White nationalist elected to Washington GOP position
An alt-right college student who garnered headlines after the 2017 Charlottesville tragedy is now an active member of Washington’s Republican Party.
James Allsup attended the Unite the Right Rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was heavily attended by white nationalists. The event culminated in torch-bearing men chanting “you will not replace us.” The rally also resulted in the death of a woman when one attendee drove his car through a crowd of counter protesters; 19 others were injured.
Allsup filmed his walk to the rally. The video showed him flocking to white nationalist Richard Spencer and noting the presence of KKK leader David Duke. He resigned as president of the College Republicans at Washington State University shortly after it was discovered that he attended the event. Allsup has stated he is not a racist and only went to document the white nationalist rally. He was, however, a scheduled speaker at the event.
The Daily Beast reports that Allsup was elected to a Republican Party post this month. He is now a Republican Party Precinct Officer for Precinct 129 in Whitman County, located in Eastern Washington. It is a two-year position.
A precinct officer is an official actor for a political party and is primarily charged with promoting the party, voter registration, and garnering voter support. University of Washington law professor Hugh Spitzer told the Daily Beast: “If you want to take over a political party in this state, the best thing to do is to start at the PCO level and get a whole bunch of people who agree with your views elected as PCOs.”
The Beast says Allsup secured his new position after his candidacy was uncontested for four days after he filed with the county auditor, and that the move is part of Allsup’s effort to “take over the GOP for the alt-right.” According to state election rules, if a PCO candidate is uncontested by the end of the filing date, they are “considered elected immediately.”
Allsup in the GOP
Allsup has responded to the Daily Beast coverage on Facebook, stating “The effort to get young right-wing leaders into the GOP is absolutely terrifying the left. And there’s nothing they can do to stop it.” He has also posted photos of himself holding a torch (similar to the torches used in the Unite the Right Rally). He refers to himself as a pro-American nationalist; a statement he associates with “pro-European sentiment.” Allsup states that he is fighting the “consequences of diversity.”
But his newfound position has not been welcomed by all Republicans. Congressmember Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents Washington 5th Congressional District, which includes Whitman County. She posted on Facebook:
I was disappointed today when I heard the news that James Allsup is being allowed to represent the Whitman County GOP. I don’t have a relationship with him, but I know what he stands for. His actions and words do not reflect the values of the Republican party or Eastern Washington.
White supremacy, racism, and bigotry are never acceptable and have no place in America or Eastern Washington. Bridging divides within our communities must not include space for individuals who promote, condone, or participate in racism and violence.
Over the past year and half, I’ve held Unity Dinners and Peaceful Community Roundtables to discuss difficult issues and strengthen the bonds that unite us. Our goals are to move from poverty to opportunity; from racism to gracism; and from divisiveness to unity.
Now more than ever, we must continue working together and continue having courageous conversations to stand united against hatred.
Allsup has responded to the congress member’s statement by saying his voice is “genuinely pro-American” and that she is a failure who is part of the political class.