In Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff Roger Garrison said he has no affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, despite old photos that surfaced showing him wearing a robe and hood.
Sheriff Garrison told WSB-TV News that he wore the costume to a Halloween party around 25 years ago, long before he took office: "I don't deny it wasn't stupid, looking back now, but there again I say what 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn't made some stupid mistakes?"
Sheriff Garrison is up for re-election this year. He believes that the anonymous leak of the pictures is "purely political" and the "lowest of the low to infer whatever they're attempting to infer there."
Sheriff Garrison said he and a friend were dressed as characters from a scene in the movie 'Blazing Saddles' and that he has never agreed with any KKK's beliefs: "I don't think anyone who knows me is going to think anything of this, but it's just sickening and it hurts my family."
Garrison's opponent, David Waters, said someone showed him the photos a year ago, but he chose to ignore them: "It is a bad judgment call, and [that] type of clothing represents hate, and I certainly don't want any part of that."
Waters was not the source who provided the photos to WSB-TV News.
Sheriff Garrison added: "Everybody knows everything about my life. I would just ask that they look at my honor and my integrity and the things we've done for this sheriff's office."