NATION : Duke Apologizes Over Nazi Shake

<i> From Times wire services </i>

State Rep. David Duke apologized to the House today for any embarrassment caused by a photo showing the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard shaking hands with a Nazi.

Republican Duke, whose election last month sparked widespread controversy because he is a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, spoke at the Chicago convention of the right-wing Populist Party of America on Saturday. He later shook hands with various people, including Art Jones, vice chairman of the American Nazi Party.

Duke told his colleagues that he didn’t know Jones and had no idea the man was affiliated with a Nazi movement. He blamed the media for the picture. Duke’s Nazi ties were an issue during the closely contested legislative race that he won by a narrow margin Feb. 18. His opponents noted that his 1988 presidential campaign, in which he ran as the Populist Party’s candidate, was managed by a former Nazi leader.