In late August, antisemite Dave Reilly announced his intention to run for a school board position. Reilly, who promoted the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally and repeatedly disparaged Jews, gay people, and women on social media, has been endorsed by white supremacists. Most crucially, however, Reilly has support from his local GOP.
In an Aug. 27 tweet, Patrick Howley of the far-right junk news site National File announced “Breaking: @realDaveReilly planning a school board campaign.” In a reply to Howley’s tweet, Reilly confirmed the news that he was running for school board in Post Falls, ID — the Gem State’s tenth largest city — and posted a link to his Linktree page.
The Kootenai County GOP formally endorsed Reilly in a Sept. 14 tweet. “Vote for Dave Reilly for Post Falls School District Board of Trustees Candidate (Zone 5),” it said. The tweet was accompanied by a graphic which showed the candidate’s photo, referred to him as “highly rated” by the Kootenai County GOP, and included the URL of the Kootenai County GOP’s website.
Four days later, the Kootenai County GOP tweeted a photo of the “Kootenai County Republican Central Committee sample ballot” which showed voters which candidates were “recommended” by the party for the Nov. 2 election. Among them was Reilly — a man with a long history of racist rhetoric and connections to white supremacists and antisemites.
In 2017, Dave Reilly resigned from his position at a Bloomsburg, PA radio station after his tweets promoting the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally came to light. In one tweet, Reilly wrote “Good morning. The #AltRight slept tight and #Antifa is still sleeping. Probably hungover or dope-sick. See yall at Lee Park. #Unite the Right.”
Although Reilly put out a statement at the time which denounced “Nazism, the KKK, Racism, White Supremacism, and political violence,” his ties to white supremacists only continued to grow.
Last year Reilly worked as an editor for E. Michael Jones, a deeply antisemitic and homophobic self-styled theologian who blames Jews for the murder of Jesus Christ, argued on a Neo-Nazi-hosted livestream that Jews should not be considered citizens of the U.S., and claimed that COVID-19 was created as a “bioweapon.”
In a Dec. 2019 article for Jones’ magazine, Culture Wars, Reilly blamed a “mass movement of left wing agitation and sexual liberation” for Europe’s “almost complete breakdown of social norms.” He wrote that the “effects” of this “breakdown” included “low birthrates, broken homes, and declining church attendance, which has ultimately led to the Great Replacement.”
The “Great Replacement” refers to a white supremacist conspiracy theory which posits that white people in majority-white countries are being deliberately and systematically “replaced” with immigrants of color. The “Great Replacement” conspiracy has motivated several acts of white supremacist terrorism in recent years, including the massacres in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso, TX.
In Feb. 2020, Reilly attended the inaugural America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) — a far-right event founded by Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes that was designed to compete with the more mainstream Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Indeed, throughout 2020 Reilly was not shy about using social media to showcase his antisemitic, homophobic, and misogynistic beliefs.
In a Jan. 4, 2020 tweet, Reilly repeated a white nationalist claim that “Jews pretend to be white when it’s expedient for them.” A day later he tweeted a purported screenshot of a Wikipedia article titled “Expulsions and exoduses of Jews.” Reilly wrote “110 confirmed,” in reference to an antisemitic claim that Jews have been expelled from 109 countries, and that the 110th will be the last.
In a Jan. 7, 2020 tweet, Reilly wrote “Iran made a mistake in attacking the United States. They should have bombed Israel.” On Jan. 29, 2020, Reilly shared an article from The Hill which stated that “61% of Americans agree with at least one anti-Semitic stereotype.” “Good news! Let’s get those numbers up!” he crowed.
When the Anti-Defamation League tweeted that 27% of American adults believed that Jews killed Jesus Christ, Reilly concluded that “73% of American adults have been mis-informed [sic].” Reilly had previously tweeted a cartoon by “Stonetoss,” a pseudonymous white supremacist, which implied that Jews bore responsibility for Jesus’ death.
While Reilly usually directed his hatred toward Jews, he also targeted women and LGBTQ people.
In a tweet from Jan. 2, 2020, Reilly referred to women’s suffrage as a “mistake,” and on Feb. 18, 2020 he declared that “Women should not be allowed on social media.” When then-presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg announced that he and his husband were planning on having a child, Reilly compared it to “human trafficking.”
While these offensive tweets have since been deleted — perhaps in preparation for his campaign — Reilly has continued to retweet white nationalists and tout endorsements from far-right extremists like Michelle Malkin and Vincent James Foxx.
On the latest episode of their Flashback Friday show, hosts Lana Lokteff and Henrik Palmgren — of the white supremacist media outlet Red Ice — promoted Reilly’s campaign. Lokteff, who once called interracial relationships “more devious than blatant in-your-face mass murdering,” said she had “never voted for anyone on school boards” but will vote for Reilly.
Lokteff and Palmgren relocated from Virginia to Idaho early this year, and Reilly has made guest appearances on their show before.
Thanks to right-wing fearmongering over masks, vaccine mandates, and critical race theory, some school board members across the country have begun quitting. At the same time, right-wing conspiracy theorists have heeded a call to begin running for local positions, which makes it all the more important to know who is on the ballot in your city.
Neither Kootenai County GOP Chair Brent Regan nor Vice Chair Rob Barrans responded to questions about Dave Reilly’s bigoted remarks or their party’s endorsement of Reilly’s campaign.