DELTONA, Fla. (AP) — A civil rights group in a Florida county is starting a petition to recall a city commissioner who used to be a member of a group labeled as extremist by some hate-watchdog organizations.
The West Volusia branch of the NAACP says it was mobilizing a petition drive to recall Deltona Commissioner Loren King, who says he left the Oath Keepers in 2017 after being a member for two years. He was elected to office in 2018.
“Given the pulse of the nation,” having a sitting elected official who had ties to the Oath Keepers doesn’t set a good example," Sean King, president of the West Volusia Branch of the NAACP, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal on Wednesday.
Sean King and Loren King are unrelated. Despite calls for him to leave office, Loren King said he had no plans resign.
Oath Keepers members are among the hundreds of people arrested this year for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, attacking police officers and vandalizing the building.
Loren King said he doesn’t support the views of the extremists tied to the Jan. 6 insurrection, which he only learned about from television. He told Fox 35 in Orlando that joined the Oath Keepers because he wanted to take an oath to defend the country, but he cut ties with the group before he was elected.
“Some of the things that they were doing I went well, ‘You know there’s a fine line between defending the constitution and breaking the law,’ and so I thought you know what this might not be the place for me to be,” he said.