Scalise just one of many to become ensnared with David Duke’s legacy _lowres

Advocate file photoby Bill Feig Picture shot on 3-18-99 David Duke---who is running in the congressional election to fill Bob Livingston's seat.

In 1991, the nation watched as Louisiana residents chose between the klansman, David Duke, and the crook, Edwin Edwards.

Edwards, a Democrat, had served three previous terms as governor between 1971 and 1987 and had been tried and acquitted during two racketeering trials. But bumper stickers urged voters to “Vote for the Crook,” over Republican Duke, who had served as a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard for five years and was a neo-Nazi. During the campaign, Duke said he was a born-again Christian, yet he undermined himself later by saying affirmative action was the equivalent of the Holocaust.

Such statements drove African Americans to the polls in record numbers and Republican politicians to distance themselves from Duke. Then-President George H.W. Bush said, “I believe David Duke is an insincere charlatan. I believe he's attempting to hoodwink the voters of Louisiana. I believe he should be rejected for what he is and what he stands for."

Voters elected Edwards with 61 percent of the vote in a record 1.7 million voter turnout.

Edwards was convicted in 2000 on racketeering charges and served 8 ½ years. Duke made a reappearance in the 2016 presidential election when he endorsed Donald Trump.