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Neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka Wins Election in One of Richest U.S. Counties

The Capital Gazette | The controversial candidate who ran for president as a member of the Constitution Party, who switched to Republican in January, belonged to the League of the South and donated dinosaur fossils to a creationist museum — Michael Peroutka — won 53 percent of Tuesday’s vote to earn a seat on the County Council.

Michael PeroutkaPeroutka, 62, earned nearly 1,900 more votes than 31-year-old Patrick Armstrong, a Democrat, to win the District 5 seat.

Peroutka’s campaign had not declared victory when Armstrong conceded after midnight.

“I am grateful to everyone who voted for me and to my amazing volunteers,” Armstrong said in an emailed statement. “I cannot thank them enough for their faith in me and in the democratic process.”

Throughout the campaign, Peroutka faced examination for his association with the League of the South. In District 5 — a traditionally conservative area on the Broadneck Peninsula, whose Republican councilman, Dick Ladd, lost in the primary — Peroutka emphasized his desire to repeal the county’s stormwater fees, dubbed “the rain tax” by critics.

Michael Peroutka’s presidential run was relatively successful for a third party candidate: He gained ballot access in 36 states and came away with more than 140,000 votes. Though the Constitution Party is radically different than the Republican Party, Peroutka switched to the GOP in February 2014 and filed his candidacy for the County Council seat.

About a month after the Maryland primaries, Carl Snowden—the organizer for the Caucus of African American Leadership — called out Peroutka’s association with the League of the South, designated as a white supremacist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Snowden asked Larry Hogan, the Republican Maryland gubernatorial candidate, to disassociate himself with Peroutka and the secessionist organization—and Hogan did so promptly.

In the United States presidential election, 2004, he was the Constitution Party’s candidate. His campaign theme was “God, Family, Republic” and he emphasized the Bible, the traditional family, and the need for constitutionally limited government. His running mate was independent Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin. He gained support from many paleoconservatives, and was also endorsed by the America First Party and Alaskan Independence Party. Peroutka was also endorsed by the League of the South and supported by a group called “Southerners for Peroutka”. Peroutka accepted the endorsement from the League at their 2004 national convention. Radio host Alex Jones stated he would be voting for Peroutka.

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