Friday, July 12, 2019

Rural Alabama editor who called on KKK to ride is finally out

Goodloe Sutton
(Montgomery Advertiser photo)
A rural Alabama newspaper publisher is out for good, months after an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to "night ride again" against "Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama," Jay Reeves reports for The Associated Press.

Goodloe Sutton, 80, was widely criticized after the Feb. 14 editorial in The Democrat-Reporter in Linden, which he has owned for decades. After mounting public anger, in late February he handed the reins over to Elicia Dexter, who had worked as the weekly's front office clerk for six weeks. But Dexter quit in mid-March. Sutton, who still owned the paper, was still trying to control some of the content, she said.

Later in March, Sutton announced he had sold the paper to a Chicago couple. But the Alabama Political Reporter discovered that the buyers were connected to the KKK, and the sale fell through.

Now, the sale is for real, according to new owner and operator Tommy Wells. Sutton "doesn't even have a key anymore," Wells told Reeves. Wells, lately a sports publicist at a Texas college, has about three decades of experience in the newspaper business. He said he had approached Sutton several years ago about buying the paper after he heard Sutton planned to close it, Reeves reports.

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