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Illinois Republicans Stuck With a Holocaust Denier on the Ballot

This analysis was first available to Bloomberg Government subscribers.

Republicans want to find an independent or write-in candidate to run for Congress in suburban Chicago now that they’re stuck with a Holocaust denier who calls himself a “white racialist.”

“Racial equality is a myth,” Art Jones, the only Republican to file in time to run the 3rd Congressional District primary, said in an interview with Bloomberg Government.

“I think Jews are inferior objectively in their spiritual qualities,” he said. “They will do anything to make a buck. No matter how debased it is, you’ll find a Jew pushing it. That’s a fact.”

He described himself in the interview as a “Holocaust denier.” He said Jewish people had generated the “myth of the Holocaust” as a way to personally profit.

The retired insurance salesman also said he believes people of African descent are genetically and intellectually inferior to whites.

“His views are disgusting,” said party spokesman Aaron DeGroot. “They are not in line with our party’s principles and platform.”

“We are wholly opposed to his candidacy for any office, particularly if his candidacy is as a Republican,” DeGroot said.

His candidacy is another headache for Republicans, who last summer were forced to address President Donald Trump’s reluctance to condemn a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va. At the time, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation for saying there were “some very fine people,” on both sides.

The 70-year-old is certain to be the nominee because the Illinois Republican Party — which activated its legal team to thwart a previous Jones congressional bid — didn’t field a candidate against Democrat Dan Lapinski, who’s running for an eighth term.

Jones is described by the Anti-Defamation League as a neo-Nazi activist who’s been involved with anti-Semitic and racist groups since the 1970s.

“There is no room for neo-Nazis in American politics,” Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Ill.) said earlier this week in a written statement. “I condemn this man in the strongest possible terms.”

DeGroot said Republicans in the state are examining their write-in and independent candidacy options for the fall.

On his campaign website, Jones elaborates on his policy positions, such as abolishing the income tax and forbidding “any resident receiving any kind of public aid or living in public housing complexes from owning a gun or hiding a gun.”

Previous Efforts

In 2012, Jones finished last with 11 percent of the vote in an unsuccessful bid for the congressional nomination. Four years later, the party challenged Jones’ nominating petitions and kept him off the primary ballot, leaving Lipinski to run unopposed.

DeGroot said the party was unable to mount a legal challenge to Jones this year. Party attorneys reviewed Jones’ nominating petitions, but were unable to demonstrate the documents were invalid.

Jones ran a quiet door-to-door petition drive and secured more than the required 600 signatures to get on this year’s ballot

Democratic Territory

DeGroot noted that Democrats, who’ve controlled the redistricting process in Illinois, created political boundaries that put Republicans at a disadvantage in the 3rd District.

“It’s a very Democratic district and that hampers the party’s ability to really recruit good candidates to run for public office,” he said.

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The post Illinois Republicans Stuck With a Holocaust Denier on the Ballot appeared first on Bloomberg Government.

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