A white supremacist and anti-Semitic candidate for Congress lost Tuesday’s Republican primary in Wisconsin, but managed to pick up 11 percent of the vote in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
Paul Nehlen lost the GOP nomination for the seat of House speaker Paul Ryan, coming in third behind Randy Bryce, and Bryan Steil who won with over 50% of the vote.
A self-described “pro-White Christian American candidate,” Nehlen has revealed himself to be openly racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic, who often peddles conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the media.
Earlier in 2018, Nehlen claimed a Jewish conspiracy against him on Twitter, posting a list of his critics on Twitter, the vast majority of whom he said were Jewish. Twitter temporarily suspended Nehlen for the post.
A month later, he was permanently banned from Twitter after posting an image that replaced Meghan Markle, the mixed-race actress and then-fiancée of Prince Harry, with a dark-skinned prehistoric Briton known as “Cheddar Man.”
Nehlen reappeared on Twitter a month later under a different handle, and blamed his previously offending tweets on his Jewish campaign spokesman, according to the Huffington Post.
In 2016, he claimed that American Muslims who believe in sharia law were in “direct conflict” with the constitution, and said US should have a “discussion” about deporting all Muslims from the country.
But Nehlen’s frequent racist rhetoric has rendered him politically isolated, with the exception of self-identified white nationalists who back him.
The Republican party disavowed Nehlen and Wisconsin Governor branded him a “racist.” Even incendiary website Breitbart pulled its support of Nehlen.
“Paul Nehlen is not a member of the Republican Party of Wisconsin,” a Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman said in February. “Nehlen and his ideas have no place in the Republican Party.”
Nehlen hit back at the “foolish and spineless” Republicans who criticized him, and insisted he remained a member of the Republican Party “regardless of what their traitorous, sleazy apparatchiks wish to believe.”
His defeat on Tuesday marks his second failed attempt at securing the Republican nomination in the district. In 2016, Nehlen received just 15 percent of the vote in a head-to-head race against Ryan.
Meanwhile, in the Minnesota primaries, a Somali-American Muslim legislator accused of anti-Semitism over her criticism of Israel won the Democratic nomination.
State Rep. Ilhan Omar is poised to set the same historic mark in Congress after winning a crowded Democratic primary in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District to replace Rep. Keith Ellison.
Omar in 2012 accused Israel of “evil doings” during the Gaza war, but denied accusations the remark was anti-Semitic, saying that “drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.”
In Vermont, Democrat Christine Hallquist won the Democratic nomination in her quest to become the nation’s first transgender governor. The former chief executive of Vermont Electric Cooperative bested a field of four Democrats that included a 14-year-old.
While she made history on Tuesday, Hallquist faces a difficult path to the governor’s mansion. Republican incumbent Phil Scott remains more popular with Democrats than members of his own party in the solidly liberal state.
Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee’s deputy chairman, captured his party’s nomination in the race to become the state’s attorney general. That’s after Ellison’s candidacy was rocked by allegations over the weekend of domestic violence amid a broader national outcry against sexual misconduct by powerful men in business, entertainment and politics.
Ellison has denied a former girlfriend’s allegations that he dragged her off a bed while screaming obscenities during a 2016 relationship she said was plagued by “narcissistic abuse.”