Emboldened by Trump's racism, a record number of white supremacists are making their way into mainstream Republican politics.
James Allsup, 22, took part in the Charlottesville rally as a member of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Defamation League.
He is now a precinct committee officer for a Spokane-area precinct and says he’s “on the way to taking over the local GOP,” according to The Daily Beast.
Immediately after being elected to the post in an uncontested vote, Allsup claimed he was attending a Spokane Republican party dinner headlined by former Rep. Jason Chaffetz. He also claimed he was scheduled to have a private meeting with an unnamed Republican member of Congress.
On Facebook, Allsup posted a photo of the certificate officially designating him as an elected GOP precinct committee officer, writing, “As of today I am officially an elected official in the state of Washington and Republican party. Cool!”
As a precinct committee officer, Allsup will serve as the link between voters in the precinct and the Republican party. Among other things, he’ll be responsible for get-out-the-vote efforts, as well as relaying to the party which issues are of importance to voters in their district.
His role also puts him in a position to help elect party leaders, run the local precinct caucus every two years, choose which ballot initiatives to endorse, and ultimately influence the selection of GOP official on a statewide basis.
“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,” Hugh Spitzer, a professor of law at the University of Washington, told The Daily Beast.
Speaking on an Identity Evropa podcast, Allsup said he planned to use his new position as an elected Republican official to push “our” political agenda — referring not to the GOP’s agenda, but to that of Identity Evropa.
He also encouraged other members of the far-right white supremacist group and those who share their views to use similar tactics to push their way into mainstream politics.
“You have a seat at the table. And that’s the most important thing, getting that seat at the table, and you can get that seat at the table by, yes, showing up, yes, by bringing people in, and again this doesn’t necessarily only have to be IE members,” he said on the podcast, according to The Daily Beast.
According to The Spokesman-Review, Allsup was also formerly the president of the Washington State University College Republicans, but stepped down amid fallout after the Charlottesville rally.
In previous podcasts, Allsup has encouraged other young white supremacists to “take over” their college Republican groups and turn them into “alt-right club[s].”
“You can easily do that and it gives you access to so many more resources,” Allsup said on a podcast just a month after Charlottesville. “It gives you political credibility. It gives you all of these things that come along with the name of being a Republican.”
The chairman of the Washington State Republican party, Caleb Heimlich, told The Daily Beast that the state GOP “does not condone identity politics, in any form, whatsoever.”
According to NBC News, white supremacists are running for office in record numbers in 2018. At least eight candidates with white supremacist ties are running for national office, most of them in the Republican party. All of them are running on explicitly white nationalist messages.
While the national Republican party has sought to distance itself from the extremists running for office under the GOP umbrella, that’s a tough feat when the Republican in the Oval Office can’t even bring himself to condemn Nazis because the party is so dependent on their votes.