WASHINGTON — A noted Holocaust denier and unambiguous anti-Semite is slated to become the Republican nominee for a US House seat representing parts of Chicago and its nearby southwestern suburbs.
Arthur Jones has been a perennial candidate for that seat since the 1990s, but has never come anywhere close to being a serious contender. This year, he is the only Republican on the ballot, leaving him poised to clinch the nomination on March 20.
The 70-year-old retired insurance salesman is not your typical Congressional hopeful. He is an outspoken Holocaust denier with longstanding ties to neo-Nazis; he has routinely referred to the Jewish state as “racist criminal Zionist Israel”; and he is known to orchestrate an annual “family friendly” dinner commemorating Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
“I’m running for Congress, not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me, the Holocaust is what I said it is: it’s an international extortion racket,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview published Sunday.
In a 2012 interview with a local news site, the Oak Lawn Patch, he blamed Israel and the American Jewish lobby for masterminding the September 11 attacks and called the Holocaust “the blackest lie in history” and a Jewish “international extortion racket.”
Those views have not receded. On his current campaign website, he has a page devoted to “The Holocaust Racket,” espousing bilious anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and calling Jews “blood-thirsty criminal vampires.”
The ADL condemned Jones as “an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot,” and the Republican Party is also attempting to distance itself from him.
“The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District,” Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, told the Sun-Times.
A former leader of the American Nazi Party, Jones now heads a group called the America First Committee, an homage to the Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist Charles Lindbergh, who was a spokesman for the original America First Committee, which advocated against US entry into World War II.
Jones recently told the Sun-Times of his reincarnation of Lindbergh’s group and that “membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent.”
Though Lindbergh’s America First message has been echoed by Donald Trump, Jones said in a recent video, filmed at a neo-Nazi retreat in Kentucky, that he had little use for the US president, who “surrounded himself with hoards of Jews including a Jew in his own family, that punk named Jared Kushner.”
Said Jones: “I’m sorry I voted for the son of a bitch, pardon my English.”
He said the US was sending troops to war in the Middle East because of “one reason why: Israel” and “the Jewish lobby… He’s nothing but a puppet in their hands… this Jew-loving fool.”
Even if he clinches the GOP nod, Jones would have virtually no chance of winning the general election, as Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District is one of the most heavily Democratic in the entire state.
But there is a possibility he could be removed from the ballot, which has happened before. In 2016, the Illinois Republican Party maneuvered his dismissal over legal objections to his nominating petitions filed with the state’s board of elections.
If there are no infractions this year, he would face in November either Rep. Dan Lipinsky, the Democratic incumbent of that seat, or Marie Newman, an intra-party challenger who is garnering the support of influential women’s groups and labor unions.