North Idaho

Self-proclaimed KKK leader running for sheriff

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The race for Bonner County Sheriff has taken an interesting twist, as a man who claims to be the leader of a local KKK chapter has entered the race.

The deadline to file as a candidate for Bonner County Sheriff has come and gone and three Republicans put their names into the race. One of them is Shane Winkler, a white supremacist and, he claims, a leader of a local KKK chapter.

This last January Winkler was seen picketing a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event at North Idaho College.

bonner county kkk sheriff

"We feel that it's irrelevant [in] a community such as North Idaho. We really don't believe Martin Luther King and his work has any relevance here whatsoever," he said at the time.

His decision to run for sheriff has been met with surprise and skepticism.

"It's a little surprising actually. Wouldn't expect a guy like that to run as a leader," Hunter Kyler said.

"It doesn't really bother me mainly because I don't pay attention to that kind of stuff," Andrew Brettachuer said.

Other voters are uncomfortable with Winkler's beliefs and his interest in running for sheriff.

"I think we are all trying to evolve away from it. I don't know there are still some people who believe in it," Austin Oberg said.

Attempts were made to reach Winkler for comment on this story, however the elections office does not have a working phone number on record for Winkler.