- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2003

HAYDEN (AP) — The people of Hayden can’t seem to rid themselves of neo-Nazi Richard Butler.

The founder of the Aryan Nations lost his compound outside of town to bankruptcy several years ago, but he has moved to a Hayden house bought by a supporter. Now, Mr. Butler is running for mayor of this town of 9,000, linking Hayden — in the public mind — once more with his anti-Semitic, white-separatist views.

“I’m not really anxious to become mayor,” Mr. Butler, 85, said recently. “I’m just anxious to get my word out.”

Two Butler supporters are also on the ballot, running for City Council. The three had to gather five signatures each to get on the ballot.

Despite heart problems and legal woes in recent years, Mr. Butler has been a bane to many Hayden boosters for three decades.

Because Hayden and nearby Hayden Lake were the closest towns to Mr. Butler’s rural compound, the name “Hayden” became synonymous with the hate group, which has no more than a dozen active members, but has hosted an annual world gathering of white supremacists here for the past two decades.

“No matter where you travel, if you mention you are from Hayden or Hayden Lake, they associate it with the Aryan people,” complained Mayor Ron McIntire, who is running for re-election on Nov. 4 to the $500-a-month job. “They look at it as the headquarters of a million people or something.”

Mr. McIntire, who owns several grocery stores in the area, is campaigning door-to-door and putting up yard signs. He is not planning any joint appearances or debates with Mr. Butler.

“That just stirs it up,” Mr. McIntire said. “I don’t really know how much support he has in the area, but this will be a good way to find out.”

Mr. Butler moved to northern Idaho from California in the early 1970s because the region was mostly white and he figured it would make a good place to launch a race war. He and his followers rail about Jewish conspiracies and rising numbers of blacks and other minorities in the United States.

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