A candidate for the Haven school board has said that he will not drop out of the race despite it coming forth that he imposed racist ideology to a group of teenage anti-fascists, The Wichita Eagle reported.
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Josh Wells, a Reno County, Kansas resident, and owner of Wells Home Repair, is a self described leader of a Proud Boys group and prompts the idea of an all-white nation, The Kansas Reflector reported.
In private messages made public, Wells shared a white nationalist manifesto, the Eagle reported.
One of the teenagers who made the messages from Wells public, which he says are Photoshopped, told the Eagle that Wells was a leader of the Midwest Nationalist Party.
The member, who declined to be identified, is from the Midwest Youth Liberation Front and said that it was one of the first things Wells spoke about after connecting in early May during a White Lives Matter event. The event was held on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app used by white supremacists.
Wells told the Eagle on Tuesday that his political beliefs are not crucial for the position he is running for.
"Like I said, I would love to address any questions or concerns about me to the voters and parents in the district I'm running in. Other than that, it's not a matter of what anyone writing an article has to say about whether or not I'm a PB or something. Because you are going to write whatever you want anyhow," he wrote in a text message. "And continue to make sure the good honest, hard-working, loyal, brothers who have been made out to be racists or whatever you want to call us from day to day are not given a chance to be who we choose to be."
Wells was asked if he supported the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBTQ community, or any other activist group he said that he did not. Instead, he said he is a solid Christian who believes in two genders, the Eagle reported.
"I don't get into activism or protests. I think it's silly," Wells said. "I do what is right and best for everyone. Color doesn't matter. That's why I'm running for school board."
Wells spoke with the Eagle, saying, "I'm not a racist," and "I'm not a white supremacist."
He then went on to say that the Proud Boys are all good guys.
"Nowhere on the form that I filled out, then paid the fee for candidacy, did it ask if I am a Proud Boy," Wells said. "It's irrelevant to race."
Wells also shared that the media has portrayed him accurately.
"Yet nobody in the media business want to acknowledge the fact that for well over a year now, groups of people have terrorized communities to the point where people are scared to leave their own property. Those same people have become reliant on violence as intimidation towards whoever doesn't agree with their agenda," he said. "No one wants to be accountable for their own actions anymore, but by God, if a white Christian man decides to stand up for what's right, well, then you portray him to be a white supremacist."
Wells has not dropped out of the race and has said he does not have any plans to. He also said that he welcomes questions and comments from parents or students within the district.