WASHINGTON — A self-proclaimed Nazi and Holocaust denier officially won the Republican nomination in a Chicago-area House race on Tuesday after running unopposed in the primary.
Arthur Jones won the primary for Illinois’s Third Congressional District, where Republicans are all but guaranteed to lose a general election. No Republican has held that seat since 1975.
While his racist views have alienated him from many voters in the past, Jones was able clinch his party’s nomination because he was running unopposed. Jones, 70, has ran five times before for that position, which represents parts of Chicago and its southwestern suburbs.
In February, the retired insurance salesman made headlines when he emerged as the sole candidate to win that slot.
Jones is an outspoken Holocaust denier with longstanding ties to neo-Nazis. He has also 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.
In a 2012 interview with a local news site, the Oak Lawn Patch, he accused Israel and the American Jewish lobby of 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.”
He also appeared on CNN last month and called the Holocaust “poppycock.”
The Anti-Defamation League has condemned Jones as “an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot,” and the Republican Party has also sought to distance itself from him.
“We condemn this candidate and his hateful rhetoric in the strongest possible terms,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens told The Times of Israel in February.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Republican Party told the Chicago Sun-Times that the country has “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,” said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois GOP.
A former leader of the American Nazi Party, Jones now heads a group called the America First Committee, an homage to the white supremacist Charles Lindbergh, who was a spokesman for the original America First Committee, which advocated against US entry into World War II.
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.”
He further said that Trump was beholden to the “Jewish lobby” and its interests: “He’s nothing but a puppet in their hands… this Jew-loving fool.”
The Trump administration has not responded to repeated requests for comment on Jones’s candidacy.
The Illinois general election will be held on November 6, 2018.