Jack Gray is running against Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott for Council District 4. In a brief interview, he said he’s running on a jobs platform. When asked about his political affiliation, his battery started running low and the interview ended.
Note: This post has been updated to reflect Gray saying he no longer identifies with the American National Socialist Party
So far, Jack Gray, a resident of the Trolley Square area of downtown Salt Lake City, is the only challenger incumbent councilman Luke Garrott will be facing in the upcoming election. This is not Gray’s first foray into politics, however. In 2007, he finished in 5th place with only 72 votes in the council race. He received little media attention except he did get a nod from a post on White Reference, a blog that disseminates news to the “White Nationalist” community. His election performance there is noted and the post identifies Gray as the Utah leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party.
ANSWP is a Neo-Nazi splinter group whose founder William White recently won in a First Amendment battle in April 2011 that released him from jail in Chicago for a 2009 conviction of intimidation of a jury foreman through his inflammatory hate speech. A federal court overturned the 2009 decision on grounds of freedom of expression.
Salt Lake City’s Jack Gray, however, says his platform is about the local economy. “Economy is bad and we have a high U.S. debt,” Gray says. “I could do a better job.”
Gray says he did an Internet search and found high unemployment in his council district and says that was his motivation for challenging Garrott.
“Unemployment … Stock market is crashing… Elected officials are responsible for the economy, right?” Gray says “So a challenger is going to say the economy is bad right now so [voters] might want a different representative.”
Gray says he’s still researching how to create jobs but says he’s ready for the task. Despite a Website still listing Gray as the head of the Utah ANSWP, when pressed about his political affiliations, Gray says he doesn’t have any.
“Officially, I’m not affiliated with a political party, so I don’t really talk about a certain political party. I’m supposed to be impartial,” Gray says.
When asked about past affiliations, however, Gray quickly warned a reporter that his cell phone battery was dying and ended the interview. In a follow up message, Gray said he no longer is affiliated with the ANSWP.