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White nationalist 'shocked' by Fargo Republican group's vote to kick him out

Peter Tefft, as seen Monday, August 14, 2017, is a pro white civil rights activist. Dave Wallis / Forum News Service

FARGO — At the Cass County Republican Convention Thursday, Feb. 22, District 21 Republicans voted to expel white nationalist Peter Tefft from its membership.

Conner Swanson, chair of District 21, said the decision stems back to Tefft's first district meeting in May 2017 when he unsuccessfully ran for the position of chairman.

Tefft made district members at that time "really uncomfortable," Swanson said, adding that Thursday's meeting was the "apex" and a majority of members voted in a secret ballot to expel Tefft, who was present at the convention.

Swanson said Tefft was interested in being a delegate this year. But it was "apparent he doesn't fit the view of our party," Swanson said. "Our party does not tolerate hate speech or bigotry."

The decision is "not against a person, it's against an ideology," Swanson said. If anyone thinks the Republican party supports "white supremacy and hatred, they can leave our party because we don't want their votes," he said.

Tefft's family publicly denounced him following his involvement with the Unite the Right rally in August in Charlottesville, Va.

In December, Tefft was blocked from posting comments on social media sites for Tom Campbell, a Republican running for North Dakota's U.S. House seat.

Tefft told The Forum the day after the convention that he "was shocked" to be voted out, but he will continue his "pro-white" advocacy.

"It's upsetting to me, but I'm going to work hard to make amends with District 21. I plan on staying in this part of Fargo and continuing to support the Trump agenda," Tefft said. "I don't fault anyone, I just want to help the NDGOP do their thing. I wish District 21 the best of luck in November."

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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