It’s official. Neo-Nazi and proud Holocaust denier Arthur Jones will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the race to represent Illinois’ 3rd congressional district in this year’s midterm elections.
Jones ran unopposed in Tuesday’s Republican primary in the deep blue district, one that encompasses most of the suburbs southeast of downtown Chicago.
While his chances of ever seeing the inside of the House of Representatives as an elected member of Congress are nearly zero, his primary ‘victory’ marks a stunning development for a party struggling to distance itself from figures like Jones.
Republicans are also crippled by their sitting president who, on multiple occasions throughout his first year in office, has emboldened many openly anti-Semitic White supremacists in his base. He also employs an army of alt-right operatives who continue to fuel his radical, racially charged agenda.
Most racist, xenophobic figures in the alt-right have learned to conceal their true anti-Semitic views by using code words for Jews like “globalists.” Jones, however, has been unambiguous about his beliefs.
For example, he deliberately included a section on his campaign website titled “The Holocaust Racket,” where he writes that “no proof such a so-called ‘Holocaust’ ever took place anywhere in Europe against the Jews.” He also writes that the Jewish people are “directly responsible for the murder of at least 300 million people.”
The Anti-Defamation League has been following Jones for some time. Lonnie Nasatir, the regional director of the ADF’s Chicago-Upper Midwest Region, told the Chicago Sun Times in February that Jones “has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views.”
“For example,” Nasatir said, “in 2009, he protested the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and continues to espouse absurd conspiracy theories questioning the deaths of millions of Jews.”
“He has spoken publicly at numerous neo-Nazi rallies and events, expressing xenophobic policies based in racial and religious hatred. He is, by every definition, an anti-Semite, and unrepentant bigot,” Nasitir concludes in no uncertain terms.
To the Republican Party of Illinois’ credit, they have disavowed his candidacy and refused to support him financially. Party leadership has even referred to him as a Nazi on multiple occasions.
But the damage has already been done. He’ll be on the ballot with big “R” next to his name, and that’s something Republicans nationally are going to have to hear about all the way to November.
Jones will meet either sitting congressman Dan Lipinski or advertising executive Marie Newman, his more progressive challenger, in November. The two Democrats are involved in their own heated primary tonight, with the race too close to call at press time.