School Board Candidate Tied to Christian Nationalists Withdraws – Rolling Stone

Derrick Peterson

Rolling Stone uncovered his controversial connections earlier this week

Derrick Peterson — a top candidate for the Portland school board whose ties to prominent Christian nationalists Rolling Stone uncovered this week, is withdrawing his candidacy.

In a statement to supporters Wednesday afternoon, Peterson wrote, “Over the past week my affiliations with various churches have been presented in the media. This has taken a toll on my family and takes away from the critical work that needs to be done at [Portland Public School] PPS. I respect our youth too much to allow this distraction to continue. As such, I am withdrawing from the race.”

Peterson is a career law enforcement officer who had garnered the endorsements of much of Portland’s liberal establishment, including The Oregonian, the Willamette Week, a city commissioner, and the local district attorney, among others.

Peterson had other far more controversial credentials. He is a commissioned “apostle” at a church run by a top Christian nationalist, who backed Donald Trump in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6. Though he now disputes that he knew of the designation, Peterson was also elevated to the board of an anti-abortion nonprofit run by that church called 1Race4Life.

While Peterson attempted to downplay his connections to religious leaders, others saw his candidacy as a stealth campaign to install an extremist on the school board of a deep-blue city.

Ballots have already been sent out for the election, which in Oregon is conducted via mail.

Peterson has committed not to serve. “In the event that I win the election, I will resign and allow the PPS’ process to fill the vacant seat.”

Peterson closed his statement adding: “My intent was only to serve my community and our youth. I believe this is the best way to do so.”


This is a developing story

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