ATLANTA -- Atlanta's NAACP branch is criticizing the leadership appointment of a Georgia lawmaker who it says has supported "racist institutions and white supremacy."
In a statement this week, the group said Rep. Tommy Benton has also praised the Ku Klux Klan.
Benton did not respond to phone and email messages Wednesday from The Associated Press.
The Republican from Jefferson, Georgia, was recently named chairman of the House Retirement Committee.
House Speaker David Ralston announced the assignment last week.
Georgia House spokesman Kaleb McMichen is quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying Ralston's philosophy is that people deserve a second chance. He says that's what he gave Benton.