It must be tough being a voter in Hilton Head, SC, where not one but two different mayoral candidates have taken decidedly pro-Nazi stances in recent weeks, according to the Post and Courier.
First, there’s Michael Santomauro, a self-described “libertarian Republican” who calls himself a “Holocaust revisionist” and has reportedly spent decades “debunking” Nazi genocide, promoting conspiracies about Jewish banking cabals, and most recently, sympathizing with the white supremacist marchers who chanted “Jews will not replace us” during the 2017 Charlottesville rally.
“[That view] doesn’t come from a vacuum,” he told the Post and Courier.
At Hilton Head’s first mayoral candidate forum since the close of the registration deadline, Santomauro opted to rant about a recently passed South Carolina bill, which defined anti-Semitic hate speech.
“None of my opponents have denounced censorship,” Santomauro yelled, according to the local Island Packet newspaper. “That alone should disqualify all of them for elected office.”
Oh, and would it shock you to learn that he told the Post and Courier that he was a Trump voter? No?
But among Santomauro’s six opponents, there’s another candidate with some extremely questionable Holocaust opinions. In an interview with a local youth mentorship nonprofit, candidate Rochelle Williams had some unusually flattering things to say about Adolf Hitler himself.
“He did what he had to do,” Williams said, according to the Post and Courier. “He got that many people to follow him. He must have been doing something right.”
She later added that, as far as Hitler’s most admirable qualities go: “I like the power part, I guess, the control part.”
The campaigns come amid a record-breaking year for white nationalists, bigots, and other members of various racist movements who have chosen to run for office—among them Wisconsin congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, and Illinois congressional candidate Arthur Jones, both of whom are actual Nazis.
Hilton Head voters have until November 6 to make up their minds as to which of the seven mayoral candidates should represent their city in the coming year. Hopefully their decision just got a little easier.