North Carolina legislative staffer with Wisconsin ties, history of extremist views, resigns

By: - January 27, 2023 12:55 pm
North Carolina legislature

Photo via North Carolina Policy Watch

Carlton Huffman had a long record of espousing controversial views about race, immigrants, and North Carolina history before he started a job with the General Assembly earlier this month.

According to an online staff listing, Huffman, who previously worked for the Republican Party of Wisconsin and was political director for Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney’s campaign for attorney general, was on the staff of the Joint Legislative Committee of Governmental Operations working for the House Republican majority.

That brief tenure ended yesterday however when, as first reported by WRAL, Huffman resigned.

Huffman appeared on a far-right radio show in 2009 and 2010 called the “Political Cesspool.” On one episode, he discussed “cultural genocide in the South.” In another about European politics, Huffman praised Dutch politician Gerrt Wilder as a “firebrand critic of Islam” who “stands up for our European people.” He lauded the far-right British National Party, which wants to end all immigration into Britain, for “standing up for the white Europeans left in Great Britain.”

An anonymous tip about Huffman emailed to journalists Wednesday included links to a Political Cesspool radio interview and blog posts in which Huffman allegedly used a pseudonym.

Huffman told WRAL he was once a member of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, but left when it openly expressed anti-Semitism.

Huffman did not return a phone call made to his office Wednesday afternoon. WRAL quoted Huffman disavowing the views he previously espoused.

This is at least the second time Huffman worked at the state legislature. While working for former Republican Rep. Jonathan Jordan in 2011, Huffman left an anonymous letter on state senators’ desks before they were to begin debate on pardoning former Gov. William Holden.

Holden was governor from 1868-1871 and was impeached for his efforts to suppress the Ku Klux Klan in Alamance County. Huffman’s letter attacked Holden as corrupt.

Leaving information anonymously on senators’ desks was against Senate rules.

Huffman resigned from his job with Jordan soon afterwards, Policy Watch reported.

In a brief interview Thursday, House Speaker Tim Moore told Policy Watch he did not remember the anonymous letter from 2011 and knew nothing about Huffman’s radio interviews or writings.

Huffman’s recent Facebook posts appear to not reflect some of his views from the early 2000s.

He had posted a photo of Civil Rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis to the page on Jan. 15 of this year and has previously commemorated Juneteenth.

Last June, CNN reported that Huffman was among many who texted former President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows on January 6, 2021 pleading with him to help halt the insurrection on Capitol Hill:

At 2:34 p.m., North Carolina-based Republican strategist Carlton Huffman wrote, “You’ve earned a special place in infamy for the events of today. And if you’re the Christian you claim to be in your heart you know that.”

On his LinkedIn page — which still listed the North Carolina House job as of yesterday — he describes himself as a “conservative patriot” and lists recent work as the regional field director for the Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate campaign, the political director for the recently unsuccessful Wisconsin Republican Attorney General candidate Eric Toney, and three other positions, including six years with the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

This story first appeared on The Pulse, a blog from North Carolina Policy Watch

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Lynn Bonner
Lynn Bonner

Investigative Reporter Lynn Bonner covers the state legislature and politics, as well as elections, the state budget, public and mental health, safety net programs and issues of racial equality.

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