Oklahoma House Candidate Downplays Swastika Photo

Jun 23, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican candidate for a state House seat in northwest Oklahoma is trying to downplay a photograph in which he is seen wearing a swastika-adorned Iron Cross medallion around his neck.

Rodney Hiebert of Taloga says the pendant belonged to a friend and that the photograph, which appears on his Facebook page, was taken at a Halloween party several years ago. The 42-year-old says he is not a racist and that the photo is being blown out of proportion.

Hiebert's opponent, incumbent Republican state Representative Mike Sanders says many people find the swastika extremely offensive, particularly Jewish people and veterans who fought against Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Matt Pinnell, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party says it is inappropriate for anyone to wear a swastika.