A neo-Nazi, with all the views that implies – racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, and Holocaust denial – is the only Republican running for Congress in in Illinois’s Third District.
That pretty much guarantees Arthur Jones a win in the March 20 primary – but in the general election in November, he’s likely to be defeated, not just because his ideology is so toxic but because the district is heavily Democratic.
Because the district leans so Democratic, the Republican Party didn’t recruit a credible candidate to run there, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Third District includes parts of Chicago and its southwestern suburbs. Also, election officials found that Jones’s nominating petitions had the required number of valid signatures, so neither the party nor anyone else pursued legal action to remove him from the ballot, according to the paper.
Jones does not have the support of the state Republican Party, which has denounced him, and he does not plan to seek the support of Illinois’s unpopular Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, or of Donald Trump, the Sun-Times reports. In a speech posted to YouTube, Jones said he regretted voting for Trump, as the president has “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews,” including son-in-law Jared Kushner.
In an interview with the Sun-Times (watch below), Jones said the Holocaust -- Nazi Germany’s slaughter of Jews and others in World War II – is a made-up “extortion racket,” and that Adolf Hitler improved Germany’s economy. A page on his campaign website is devoted to Holocaust denial, and he says Elie Wiesel and other Holocaust survivors who have chronicled their experiences are liars. He also told the Sun-Times that black Americans want to take over the southern United States and drive whites out, and his website calls the Confederate battle flag a symbol of white pride. He said he once led the American Nazi Party and now heads the America First Committee, open only to white America citizens “of European, non-Jewish descent.”
As for his views on LGBT people, there’s this from his website: “The Homosexual/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgender movement is a blatant assault on the Christian based foundation of this country. They seek to uproot, and overthrow all the moral teachings of the Christian religion on which all of our laws are based. THEY MUST BE STOPPED NOW.”
Jones, who said he works as an insurance broker, has been on the radar of human rights groups for years, according to the Sun-Times. “Arthur Jones, who proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views,” Lonnie Nasatir, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Chicago-Upper Midwest Region, told the paper.
In 2009, Jones protested the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and over the years he has spoken at numerous neo-Nazi rallies. “He is, by every definition, an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot,” Nasitir said.
The Illinois Republican Party condemned Jones in a statement to the Sun-Times, “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones,” party chairman Tim Schneider said. “We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the Third Congressional District.”
In the general election, Jones will face either incumbent Democrat Dan Lipinski or Lipinski’s primary challenger, Marie Newman. Lipinski, whose father, William, was once the district’s representative, is a conservative Democrat who scored 57 out of 100 on LGBT issues in the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Congressional Scorecard. In 2015 he became the first Democrat to cosponsor the First Amendment Defense Act, legislation that would allow individuals and institutions to discriminate against LGBT people and others by citing religious objections. The bill did not pass in that session, but its supporters may try again.
Newman appears to be more progressive. A former advertising executive, she is an antibullying and pro-gun control activist, and her website touts “true blue values.” Her site further states, “Marie Newman believes in true American ideals: accepting refugees and creating a welcoming environment for all. Discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexuality must be fought tirelessly.”