The mayor of a tiny North Dakota town is petitioning to get rid of its local government so he can stop suspected white supremacists from gaining too much political power.
Earlier this month, Ryan Schock, the mayor of Leith, ND, went door to door and collected 12 signatures from the 18 or so people who live there.
The petition is seen as a way of stopping neo-Nazi Craig Cobb, who tried to turn Leith into a white supremacist “safe haven” back in 2013 by buying up several lots around town. He also called on fellow racists to join him in Leith.
Cobb recently finished serving four years of probation for confronting several town residents with a firearm and is wanted in Canada for hate crimes. He now lives in a different town, but his influence is still allegedly being felt.
During recent elections, two apparent Cobb supporters won seats on the city council with write-in votes.
The newly elected members, Michael Bencz and Deby Nelson, deny that they support Cobb, even though they previously bought property from him and moved to Leith right when Cobb called upon like-minded neo-Nazis to join him.
“We have to dissolve the town because that idiot (Cobb) showed up,” Schock told the Bismarck Tribune last week.“He wanted control of it, and now he can’t have it.”
Schock said the dissolution does not mean Leith will cease to exist altogether.
“Not having a city council, it’s not wiping Leith off of the map,” Schock told the Tribune. “Leith is always going to be here, the Leith signs are always going to be there.”