This is so amusing. This is exactly what I see among these "Save Our State" a.k.a. "Minutemen" scumbags every time they demand they're not racists. Their actions and their unguarded rhetoric speaks otherwise.

Man who burned cross loses W.Va. election


A man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a cross burning several years ago lost in his bid to be mayor.

Greg Bess garnered 41 votes in Tuesday's nonpartisan election, coming in a distant second to Ann Neese, a social justice officer at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, who received 104 votes. Two other candidates got fewer votes than Bess.

Bess, a coal mining contractor and chairman of the town's utility board, has said his role in the 1999 cross burning was exaggerated and "it was more of a joke that got out of hand."

"Just for the record, Greg Bess is not a racist," Bess said before the election.

Bess pleaded guilty in 2001 to a criminal conspiracy charge, telling a federal judge that he built the cross and carried it to the residence of Lucy Roberts, who was at home baby-sitting for her 2-year-old biracial granddaughter.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years' probation and was fined $1,000.

"I think that the citizens were making a statement that they did not care for (Bess') behavior and his participation in the cross burning," Neese said Wednesday.

Calls to Bess rang unanswered Wednesday morning.

Pratt is a southern West Virginia town of about 530 residents.


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