The Loeffler campaign condemned the White supremacist on Sunday in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Loeffler campaign did not respond to CNN’s requests for additional comment. Video from Friday’s rally shows Doles attended.
“Kelly had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for,” Loeffler’s spokesman Stephen Lawson told the newspaper.
Loeffler and Republican Sen. David Perdue are respectively running against Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to protect their party’s control of the Senate. If both Warnock and Ossoff win, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will break tie votes in the chamber.
The contests have turned increasingly nasty, with Republicans trying to portray the Democratic candidates as socialists who will ruin the country, while the Democrats have attacked the senators over their multi-million-dollar stock trades earlier this year, charging that they’ve profited off the pandemic. The candidates have said their opponents are spreading falsehoods.
Warnock spokesman Michael Brewer seized on the photo, saying there was “no acceptable explanation” for Loeffler’s photo with Doles. If elected, Warnock would be the first Black person elected to the Senate in Georgia.
“While Kelly Loeffler runs a campaign based on dividing and misleading Georgians, she is once again trying to distance herself from someone who is a known White supremacist and former KKK leader who nearly beat a Black man to death,” Brewer said.
CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Caroline Kenny, Kyung Lah and Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.