WASHINGTON — A self-proclaimed Nazi and Holocaust denier who was the 2018 GOP nominee for a Chicago-area US House seat has submitted paperwork to run in the Republican primary again in 2020.
Arthur Jones lost the general election for Illinois’s Third Congressional District, a liberal enclave where Republicans are all but guaranteed to lose, to Democrat Dan Lipinski, but still earned more than 40,000 votes as the only Republican on the ticket.
Jones, 71, has been something of a perennial candidate, having run for that seat six times. In 2018, he pulled off a primary win because no other GOP candidate entered the race.
This time, things are different. There will be two other candidates vying for the Republican nomination: a GOP country board member and a real estate broker.
News of Jones’s 2020 candidacy was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jones has been widely castigated by US Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which called him “an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot.”
Illinois Republican Party chair Tim Schneider put out a statement saying the party “vehemently condemns Arthur Jones’ candidacy. His racism and bigotry have no place in our party or American politics. As we did in 2016 and 2018, we will oppose his candidacy in every way possible.”
A retired insurance salesman, 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.”
On his 2018 campaign website, he had a page devoted to “The Holocaust Racket,” espousing bilious anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and calling Jews “blood-thirsty criminal vampires.”
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 parts of Lindbergh’s America First message have been echoed by US President Donald Trump, Jones said in a 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 Illinois primary election will be held on March 17, 2020.