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Neo-Nazi running for seat on Riverside County water board

October 18, 2010 |  2:24 pm

A well-known white supremacist is running a discreet campaign to try to unseat an incumbent in November on the board of a Riverside County water district.

Jeff Hall hasn’t posted any signs, didn’t show up to a candidate forum and lists no occupation on the November ballot.

But as California director of the National Socialist Movement -- the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group -- Hall has helped lead demonstrations in Riverside and Los Angeles where white supremacists waved swastika flags, chanted “white power” and gave stiff-armed Nazi salutes surrounded by hundreds of counterprotesters.

Hall’s bid for a seat on the board of directors of the Western Municipal Water District has drawn outcry from community groups dismayed that a neo-Nazi who has held racist rallies at a day laborer center and a synagogue wants to administer their water -- or at least garner publicity in the quest to do so.

“It looks like he’s hoping to get a certain percentage of the vote as an anonymous anti-incumbent and then claim that some percentage of the electorate support the Nazis,” said Kevin Akin, a member of Temple Beth El in Riverside, where Hall and other neo-Nazis have demonstrated. “He apparently intended to do nothing, just to be a stealth candidate.”

Not so, said Hall, a 31-year-old plumber who in a phone interview called for water conservation and affirmed his belief that all non-whites should be deported.

“I want a white nation,” he said. “I don't hide what I am, and I don't water that down.”

Hall has been campaigning by handing out business cards, he said, but turned down an invitation to a candidate forum because it was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and a Latino community group.

He is not the only known white supremacist running for office in Southern California this fall. Dan Schruender, a member of the Aryan Nations known for distributing racist fliers in Rialto, is seeking a seat on that city’s school board.

-- Tony Barboza