Christian Nationalist Portland School Board Candidate Withdraws

Derrick Peterson, a leading Portland school board candidate whose links to Christian nationalists Rolling Stone revealed this week, is quitting. Peterson told supporters Wednesday, May 03,Β Β afternoon, β€œOver 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 needed 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.”

The Oregonian, Willamette Week, the city commissioner, and the district attorney endorsed Peterson, a veteran law enforcement officer.

Christian Nationalist Portland School Board Candidate Withdraws

Peterson had more controversial credentials. He is a commissioned “apostle” of ChΓ© Ahn’s church, a leading Christian nationalist who supported Donald Trump in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6. Peterson wasΒ appointed to the board of 1Race4Life, a church-run anti-abortion group, despite his denial.

Ahn opposes church-state separation and advocates Christians taking over government and society to achieve “radical things for the Lord.” β€œWe’re gonna rule and reign through President Trump and under the lordship of Jesus Christ,” Ahn said during a β€œStop the Steal” rally on Jan. 5, 2021.

Rolling Stone reported that Peterson had used his commission as an “apostle” to speak at an Ahn-affiliated church that compares homos*xual marriage to incest and pedophilia, despite his denials.

Rolling Stone’s Christian nationalism experts called Peterson’s answers “hard to square.” Others saw his candidacy as a covert attempt to put an extremist on a deep-blue city’s school board. Peterson claimed β€œno hidden agendas.”

The most recent events in Portland are as follows:

Conservative groups have targeted school boards nationwide to resist shifting cultural norms on race and gender. Ironically, Peterson’s opponent, retired teacher Patte Sullivan, stated she ran to stop extremists.

Oregon mail-in elections have sent ballots. Peterson won’t serve anyway. β€œIn the event that I win the election, I will resign and allow the PPS’ process to fill the vacant seat.” Peterson concluded: β€œMy intent was only to serve my community and our youth. I believe this is the best way to do so.”


Laurie is a passionate news writer with a keen eye for detail and a dedication to accurate reporting. She has been covering local and national news for for over a decade, bringing a fresh perspective and insightful analysis to every story she covers.Laurie's love of journalism began early in life, and she pursued a degree in journalism to further her knowledge and skills. She quickly made a name for herself in the industry, working for a variety of media outlets before joining the team at

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