An avowed anti-Semite, Holocaust denier and former leader of the American Nazi Party is set to become the Republican nominee for a congressional seat in Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Sunday.
Arthur Jones, 70, is running unopposed in the GOP primary for Illinois' 3rd Congressional District on March 20, making him a shoo-in to face the Democratic incumbent in the November election. Jones has stood for public office many times since the 1970s, always unsuccessfully.
The Anti-Defamation League responded by calling Jones "by every definition an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot."
The congressional seat, which encompasses parts of Chicago, is a Democratic stronghold, which is why the Republican Party didn’t bother to field an official candidate. Jones had run in the district primary seven times before this year but never came close to securing the nomination.
On his campaign website, called Art Jones for Congressman – which features a logo of the GOP elephant with a Confederate flag atop it – Jones has a special section called "Holocaust?" The section features seven scanned articles or documents, the first one called "The Holocaust Racket."
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"This idea that 'SIX MILLION JEWS,' were killed by the National Socialist government of Germany, in World War II, is the biggest, blackest, lie in history," declares the document, which is signed by the "Veterans of Jewish Wars."
The document further states that "Jewish International Communism and Jewish International Zionism are directly responsible for the murder of at least 300 million people and these blood-thirsty criminal vampires may yet ignite a THIRD WORLD WAR, if we don't stop them."
Other documents in the section include "The Kosher Food Scam," "Holocaust 'Survivors' in U.S. Given Preference by S.S. [Social Security]" and a 1993 newspaper cutting saying "34% Doubt Holocaust."
Jones is a retired insurance broker and says on his campaign website that he was "raised in a highly patriotic family. The blood of the Southern Confederate and the Northern Yankee are both in me."
He told the Chicago Sun-Times about his former leadership of the American Nazi Party and that he now heads a group called the American First Committee.
"Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent," he told the daily.
He told the Chicago Tribune he had dressed in full Nazi regalia during a march in Skokie, Illinois, in the 1970s, and billed himself as "the White People's Candidate" during his failed bid to become mayor of Milwaukee in 1976.
The Anti-Defamation League told the Sun-Times Jones had been on its radar for some time.
"Arthur Jones, who proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views," the ADL's regional director in Chicago, Lonnie Nasatir was quoted as saying.
"For example," Nasatir continued, 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."
Jones almost landed the 3rd Congressional District nomination in 2016, but was removed from the ballot when Illinois Republican Party members highlighted irregularities in his application. He told the Chicago Tribune that this primary represents "absolutely the best opportunity in my entire political career.
"Every time I've run, it's been against a Republican who follows this politically correct nonsense. This time they screwed up," he told the paper.
The Republican Party is now seemingly powerless to stop Jones running in the general election, but its Illinois chairman, Tim Schneider, distanced the party from Jones. He told the Chicago Sun-Times the GOP "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."
Jones told the Chicago Tribune he doesn't support interracial marriage or integration in schools, telling the paper: I don't believe in equality – period."
Looking ahead to the November 6 election against either the Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski or challenger Marie Newman, Jones told the Tribune, "I'll have nine months to campaign. I think I have a good chance."
He will not, however, be reaching out to the Republican president for support. Newsweek quotes Jones as saying he regretted voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, because Trump has "surrounded himself with hordes of Jews."