"Make America White Again" billboard controversy continues in Po - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

"Make America White Again" billboard controversy continues in Polk County

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Rick Tyler's original campaign sign off Highway 411 in Polk County. Rick Tyler's original campaign sign off Highway 411 in Polk County.
POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

An aspiring Polk County politician, who has recently made national headlines, continues to spread his message even after his controversial billboards have been taken down.

Independent Congressional candidate Rick Tyler's political billboard saying "Make America White Again" has been taken down; but, he said he's going to be putting similar signs up on the sides of the road for more people to see.

"As I speak right now, more vinyl signs and signs of other materials are being made," Tyler said.

Tyler blames public pressure for billboard companies taking down his signs without his permission. Now he said he's going to make use of public space to put up more.

"I intend to put up a cross that says rest in peace First Amendment," Tyler said.

Many call his "Make America White Again" sign racist.

READ MORE | UPDATE: "Make America White Again" campaign signs removed

Tyler said he's taking his political campaign seriously.

"I could win this race with as little as 34 percent of the vote in a three-man race," he said.

Tyler said he favors "voluntary segregation," strict immigration laws and supports strong Second Amendment protection.

He said he's even going to be bringing guns to his future fundraisers.

"At that event there will be a door prize consisting of an AR-15 semi-automatic firearm," Tyler said.

While Tyler spoke for a half hour before taking reporter questions, people drove by honking to interrupt him. Brittany Patterson was one of them.

"As Polk County, and I think I speak for everybody, we're just disgusted by his behavior," Patterson said.

Patterson said she, and other community members, have concerns about Tyler's past, including allegations of polygamy and child custody issues.

"I think that is a huge issue, that we have somebody living in our county with such a skeptical past, it just can't be tolerated," Patterson said.

Allegations Rick Tyler denies.

"You got your facts wrong there," Tyler said to Patterson.

Tyler said he's going to be hosting several political campaign fundraisers later this summer. He said he's currently using his own money for much of his campaign, but he has received a few "sizable" donations through his website.

Tyler also has a website, Rick Tyler for President, he says if he wins this congressional race, he might be considering running for president in the near future.

Rick Tyler is challenging Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann on a number of issues and wants to debate with him before the election.

Fleischmann said he does not agree with Tyler's message and is proud of his record in congress, and of each person he serves in the 3rd District.

People in Polk and Bradley counties are joining together to promote love and tolerance in response to the controversial billboard.
    
After the "Make America White Again" billboard made international headlines, some wanted to fight that message.

The "Drive out Hate" campaign is raising money to get new billboards put up that promote love and tolerance.

The first billboard that's been put up it's off Exit 27 on I-75 in Cleveland, and inspired by a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote.

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