Minnesota Republican Party issues surprising endorsement of BLM protest leader seeking to oust Dem senator

The Minnesota Republican Party endorsed former NBA player Royce White on Saturday in St. Paul to take on Sen. Amy Klobuchar

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The Republican Party of Minnesota tossed its support behind Royce White, a former NBA player and Black Lives Matter protest leader turned GOP Senate candidate, in his bid to oust Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

The state party's decision to back White came at the Minnesota GOP convention in St. Paul's RiverCentre on Saturday.

White, a former professional basketball player, was introduced on stage at the convention by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

White received 67% of the vote on the first ballot at Saturday's convention to receive an endorsement from the party to challenge Klobuchar, who has represented Minnesota in the upper chamber for nearly two decades.


Amy Klobuchar, Royce White

The Republican Party of Minnesota tossed its support behind Royce White, left, in his bid to oust Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar. (Getty Images)

"I'm a 'We the People' guy through and through," White told Minnesota's Star Tribune on Saturday.

White unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination to challenge "Squad" Rep. Ilhan Omar for Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District during the 2022 election cycle, losing to fellow Republican Cicely Davis in the primary election by more than 1,000 votes.

Hundreds of Minnesota Republicans — several of whom held signs that read "The People Are Coming" — packed into the room where White delivered a speech after receiving the state party's endorsement.

Prior to joining the Republican Party and running for Senate, White led Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis at the height of the controversy surrounding the death of George Floyd.

Royce White

Royce White of the Power fights for position against Keith Benson of the Enemies during the game in BIG3 Week Three at Comerica Center on July 02, 2022, in Frisco, Texas. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images for BIG3)

The GOP Senate hopeful also has made controversial remarks in the past, including one where he claimed to be a Christian and a "real Jew" while responding to a social media user.

"Shut up shill. I’m a Christian and Jew (Real Jew)… I can smell the [bulls--t] in this tweet from a mile away. It is weird to see a bunch of people deny that Black Jews exist and could theoretically be here in America. What in the rewritten history is this? Lol," White wrote in a November 2022 tweet.

During the same month, White appeared to praise notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan and rebuked Black people who had "sold out" in a social media post, writing, "The Minister Louis Farrakhan is very gracious in his age and wisdom. He lives and speaks with a certain love and empathy for all Black ppl, even when he knows they’ve sold out. I hold no such quarter for them. I’m not the judge, but I will speak the tough word. Stop Selling Out!"


Louis Farrakhan

White appeared to praise noted antisemite Louis Farrakhan and rebuked Black people who had "sold out" in a November 2022 social media post. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Amid Israel's war with Hamas, White took to X in December and claimed, "Israel has a right to exist but not to be the lynchpin of New World Order."

"I pray my Jewish brothers and sisters stop letting their identity be used to justify globalism. . . . The same way I pray Black people stop letting their identity be used to justify marxism. This unwavering support for Israel from MAGA, knowing full well that Israel and a World War II is used to call anybody who is a nationalist, a fascist or a Nazi, really has me stumped," White wrote at the time. "Nationalism is not synonymous with Fascism or Nazism, I'm sick of hearing it. Especially from a country that takes our tax money to be ethno-national. Israel has a right to exist but not to be the lynchpin of New World Order."

White's campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment on the support he received from the Minnesota Republican Party on Saturday, or his past remarks.

On his campaign website, White lists four goals he hopes to achieve or build on if he's elected, including "Term Limits," "No Taxes (American jubilee)," "American Manufactering," and "Energy." No additional explanation for how White will accomplish those goals was shared on the website.

A Republican operative who attended the Minnesota GOP convention Saturday said she expected delegates to do a better job of selecting a candidate to take on Klobuchar and support former President Trump's re-election bid.

"I truly believe at the end of the day that the Minnesota GOP handed Amy Klobuchar a win on a silver platter," the Republican operative told Fox News Digital.

minnesota republican party issues surprising endorsement of blm protest leader seeking to oust dem senator

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has represented Minnesota in the Senate since 2007. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The operative placed some of the blame on the state party's nominating committee, which allowed White to be on the convention's endorsement ballot as "qualified, with reservations."

White is one of several Republicans who were seeking the GOP nomination. Minnesota holds an August 13 primary election, and the deadline to register for the primary is June 4. The winner of that election will go on to face off against Klobuchar, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, in the state's general election on November 4.

Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. Story tips can be sent via email and on X: @RealKyleMorris.

Authored by Kyle Morris,Thomas Phippen via FoxNews May 18th 2024