Nazi and likely Republican congressional candidate an 'embarrassment' to Illinois GOP
In what a leading Jewish scholar and conservative Republican calls an “embarrassment to the party,” outspoken Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier Arthur Jones is poised to become the party’s nominee in the 3rd Congressional District.
“Given the climate right now, it would have been a great time for the party to have intervened and stopped the narrative,” Jonathan Greenberg, vice president of the Haym Salomon Center, a public policy group in Northbrook, told the Prairie State Wire. “Someone within the party should have been watching this. It’s not like he’s an unknown. He’s run for office before.”
Illinois Republican Party headquarters did not return a call seeking comment on what could have been done to have Jones removed from the ballot, or why the party neglected to put up another Republican to seek the nomination.
The 3rd District, which covers Chicago’s southwest side to suburban Western Springs and LaGrange, is heavily Democratic. The primary is March 20.
In an article in the Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 4, Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider did denounce Jones’ candidacy, but Greenberg said that while Schneider’s comments were fine it’s troubling that “we always seem to be commenting after the fact rather than doing something about it before it happens.”
According to the Sun-Times, Jones, 70, is a retired insurance agent who lives in suburban Lyons, and has unsuccessfully run for elected offices in the Chicago area and Milwaukee since the 1970s. He also ran for Milwaukee mayor in 1976 and 13th Ward alderman on Chicago’s southwest side in 1987.
“To me, the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Sun-Times.
The paper said that in 2016 the GOP did get Jones tossed from the ballot by raising enough suspicion about the validity of his petition signatures. This time around, the GOP determined that the signatures were valid and pursued no other legal action.
In November, Jones will almost certainly lose the general election to either incumbent Dan Lipinski or his primary challenger Marie Newman.
“He’s a crank and no threat to America, but I’ve been getting calls and messages from colleagues all over the country,” Greenberg said. “He’s a national embarrassment for the Illinois Republicans.”