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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Leaders in the North Carolina Democratic Party are denouncing two candidates for local and state offices because of what they call hate-based, violent and racist positions.

The Charlotte Observer reported that party officials are condemning the comments of Carrol Crawford, a candidate for the Rowan County Commission and Bivins Hollar, a candidate for the state Senate from Catawba County.

Crawford is a former Ku Klux Klan leader who in 1987 was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500 for burning a cross at a Charlotte Klan rally.

The Salisbury Post reported that Crawford filed for one of two open seats on the Rowan County commission on Feb. 14. Crawford is a Mount Ulla resident and a Democrat. He told the Post his top priority is bringing more business to Rowan County.

The paper reported that he resigned as North Carolina grand dragon in 1987 after two years with the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

He estimated that he led more than 200 street walks in communities all over the Carolinas, according to The Post.

A more recent article in The Salisbury Post reported that Crawford would not acknowledge his past Klan leadership but did state in February that he has “no affiliation with them whatsoever.”

Hollar posted a video in which he talks about shooting and starving black South Africans and kidnapping the country’s president. Hollar denied making the video, which soon disappeared from YouTube.

To read more, visit The Salisbury Post. The Associated Press contributed to this report.