DETROIT (Aug. 12)
Gerald Carlson, a former member of the local Nazi Party and self-proclaimed white supremacist leader, has won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Congress to represent Michigan’s 15th District.
Carlson won 55 percent of the recent vote in defeating James Caygill, a public safety commissioner in Woodhaven who campaigned hard and spent about $30,000 in his unsuccessful bid for the nomination. Carlson will oppose Caygill–who has said he will be a write-in candidate — and Democratic incumbent William Ford in the general election.
Carlson dropped out of the local Nazi Party in 1978 and founded the National Christian Democratic, Party, which he described as a splinter “political party for white Americans,” soon after. He gained publicity when his organization began playing a toped telephone message calling for the banning of Blacks from Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. Carlson listed his address as Deorbom on his Congressional nominating petition.
Many Republican leaders were stunned and upset by their party’s choice. “This guy is a total jerk,” said Pat Ganzberger, 15th District Republican Party chairman. “No, he’s not our candidate. No, I’m not going to support him. I’m going to support James Caygill as a write-in.”
Carlson reportedly had been a member of the National States Rights Party, the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society and the American Independent Party before joining the Nazis. He abandoned these groups because “they weren’t making headway for me,” Carlson said recently.