New Hampshire is once again engulfed in an election frenzy with the 2020 campaign season fast approaching, and has also become the latest state to have a fascist declare candidacy for public office. Ryan J. Murdough of New Hampton, New Hampshire — an avid Holocaust denier and anti-diversity advocate — has declared his intent to run for State Representative in District 1 of Belknap County on the Republican ticket. Murdough, 38, has been active in white supremacist circles for over a decade, is the former state chairman of the American Freedom Party (previously the American Third Position Party) and is the founder and president of the Nazi-inspired group the New Hampshire Nationalists.
This is not Murdough’s first bid for office. In 2010 he ran for District 8 in Grafton County but Murdough was disavowed by state GOP leadership for being a “despicable racist.” This time around is no different. In his announcement on the social media platform “Gab,” Murdough declared his intention to run because “I refuse to sit back and watch the state I love turn into a 3rd world dumping ground while traitors and Anti-Whites try and silence anyone who opposes it… I will always stand up for the interests of white people in New Hampshire and I will never apologize and never back down.”
Murdough’s announcement is a frightening but unsurprising development in the rising tide of overt white supremacy across the country and here in the Granite State. In late 2018, a Dover high school teacher was suspended pending investigation after a video surfaced of students singing a KKK inspired parody of Jingle Bells, and Finnish neo-Nazi band Horna made a tour stop in mid April at The Chop Shop, a bar run by members of the group Bikers for Trump. Local activists organized a call-in campaign to the bar, while Murdough pushed his hundreds of Gab followers to attend the show and oppose those attempting to shut it down.
A major point of contention for the Murdough campaign is Republican Governor Chris Sununu’s “diversity council” which is seeking to boost New Hampshire’s pro- business image and attract a younger, more diverse workforce. Murdough’s NH Nationalists have specifically targeted and threatened this initiative. These sentiments have been echoed by right-wing media talking head Tucker Carlson and NH state Department of Education Commissioner Anthony Schinella who said “We don’t want or need New Hampshire to become any kind of cesspool.” The NH Nationalists have even doxxed members of the council and those affiliated with it, many of whom claim to have received threatening emails and phone calls as a result.
While Murdough’s planned bid may shock progressive Granite Staters, it should come as no surprise that such a disgusting racist is seeking elected position in a state with the one of the oldest and whitest populations in the country. Murdough — and those like him — need to realize that this land was never their land. It was colonized, taken by force from the Indigenous peoples who lived here for thousands of years, and only through displacement and genocide did New Hampshire come to be a settlement for white people. Murdough’s movement still exists on the fringes despite the current demographics of New Hampshire and its libertarian bent, but it represents a growing fascist threat — a threat that can only be defeated by persistent and coordinated grassroots community efforts and solidarity between all working and oppressed peoples.
Join the New Hampshire branch of the PSL to further discuss the rise of white supremacy and fascism at an upcoming forum on May 31 in Manchester.