The Missouri Republican Party has appealed today a Cole County judge’s ruling in a case involving a candidate with alleged ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

The appeal involves Darrell McClanahan III, who filed in February to run for governor.

Erica Choinka, with the Missouri Republican Party, told Missourinet that the party is working to get McClanahan’s named removed from the party’s August primary ballot.

“Our stance remains firm that the candidate’s beliefs are not in alignment with the values of the Missouri Republican Party, and we strongly assert that he should not be allowed to run under our party’s name. We are committed to upholding the principles that define our party and will continue to pursue this matter through the appropriate legal channels,” said Choinka.

In March, the Missouri Republican State Committee filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State’s office and against McClanahan to have him removed from the party’s primary ballot because of his alleged tied to the KKK.

In a ruling last month, Cole County Judge Cotton Walker said that the Republican Party remains free to disavow McClanahan’s run for governor. He also agreed with the Secretary of State’s office that it doesn’t have the authority to remove a candidate’s name from the ballot once the filing fee has been accepted.

McClanahan, of southwest Missouri’s Milo, has described himself as “pro-white” but not a racist. He was photographed performing what appeared to be a Nazi salute in a photo posted to social media. He was also allegedly awarded a one-year “honorary” membership in the Klan.

The case has been appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District.

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