MAGA mayoral candidate and Franklin, Tennessee, Alderman Gabrielle Hanson continues to make disastrous headlines. The latest: Hanson has lost an influential conservative group’s endorsement after an investigation revealed her connection to a white supremacist group.
On Oct. 2, members of a white nationalist group known as the Tennessee Active Club escorted Hanson to a candidate forum for Franklin mayor. Speaking with the press, some of the group’s members said they were there to support Hanson. When it became clear that Hanson had invited the group to act as her security detail at the event, Hanson refused to apologize, saying, “I’m not going to denounce anybody their right to be whatever it is that they want to be, whether I agree with what they do in their personal life or not.”
Among the white supremacists at the forum was Sean Kauffmann. You can see Kauffmann here on the watchdog group Stop Antisemitism’s website, giving the ol’ “Heil Hitler” salute. Also at the event was Brad Lewis, who told a local news outlet, "Gabrielle's a friend of mine, and she's had some credible threats against her. So I'm just posted up out here.”
Here’s another thing Lewis told the public back in June 2023: “I’m not a cuckservative, I’m an actual literal Nazi.” That was Lewis’ response to a Southern Poverty Law Center report detailing how his gas station/store hosted the Tennessee Active Club for white nationalist fight club-type events.
The Westhaven Conservatives group wrote on its Facebook page, as reported by NewsChannel 5’s Phil Williams, that it was revoking its endorsement of Hanson because of the “many decisions made by” her. They added, “Unfortunately, this situation has reached a point where [it] is quite possible that Hanson being elected Mayor could be more detrimental to the conservative movement in Franklin than another term of [current Mayor] Ken Moore.” (Ouch for Ken Moore.)
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The conspiracy-minded Hanson has been making a lot of bad news this year. Investigations into her past have revealed that Hanson, a Christian conservative, was once arrested for promotion of prostitution. Hanson has claimed ignorance of the more insidious potential aspects of her complicity in possible sex trafficking, but she also has a pretty spotty history when it comes to telling the truth.
When NewsChannel 5 investigated many of the supporters Hanson posted testimonials for on her social media accounts, it found these individuals did not know Hanson—at all. Hanson then lied again, pretending that the people who denied knowing her were just protecting her.
Hanson’s had a very public history of hate-filled, anti-LGBTQ+ screeching. She has made news and faced censure for an unethical attempt to use her position to bully Nashville International Airport for donating to a Juneteenth celebration in Franklin. Hanson has also faced calls for her resignation after making outrageous claims that she had a premonition about a cover-up of the motive in the Covenant School shooting.
It says a lot about the Westhaven Conservatives group that it took an awkwardly timed reminder of how antisemitic the MAGA world is for them to bow out of endorsing Hanson.
Here is a Clay Bennett cartoon for you to enjoy that sums up Hanson’s campaign.
RELATED STORY: MAGA mayoral candidate was previously arrested for promoting prostitution