CHICAGO (TNS) — A suburban Chicago man known as a Holocaust denier and for his ties to neo-Nazism is expected to advance to November’s general election for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District seat.
Arthur J. Jones, 70, of Lyons, is the lone candidate on the March 20 Republican primary ticket for the seat that includes Western Springs, La Grange and parts of southwestern Chicago. Jones, a former member of the American National Socialist Workers Party, has run for political office several times in the past but has never made it past the primary stage in the 3rd District.
Most recently, in 2016, Jones ran unopposed on the Republican ballot but was removed for flagrant disregard of the election code. Jones said his candidacy was challenged by members of the Illinois Republican Party, who questioned the legitimacy of his signatures.
In 2017, Jones said he went door-to-door stumping for signatures, and after his paperwork was reviewed, Republicans did not attempt to remove him from the ballot.
“Well, it’s absolutely the best opportunity in my entire political career,” Jones said. “Every time I’ve run it’s been against a Republican who follows this politically correct nonsense. This time they screwed up.”
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider said in a statement: “The Illinois Republican Party 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.”
The Anti-Defamation League reports Jones has been involved with racist and anti-Semitic groups since the 1970s.
In 1976, Jones ran for mayor in Milwaukee. He said he appeared in TV commercials dressed as an American storm trooper with slogans billing himself as “the White People’s Candidate.” Jones also said he featured swastikas in a newspaper ad for a candidate he supported for school board in Wisconsin. In the 1970s, he said he marched in Skokie in full Nazi regalia.
On his campaign website, Jones calls the Holocaust “the biggest, blackest lie in history.” In a phone interview Sunday, he defended concentration camps.
“The point of the matter is I’m not running for chancellor of Germany,” Jones said.
On his website, Jones recounts his parents’ service in World War II.
“My father like so many others fought because he thought it was a service to his country,” Jones said. “If they had seen what was going to happen … (despite) all their sacrifices, he and a lot of others wouldn’t have put their lives on the line.”
Jones also said he doesn’t support interracial marriage or integration in schools, and he hesitated when asked whether African-Americans and Latinos should have the right to vote.
“I don’t believe in equality — period,” Jones said.
The lack of a GOP challenger means Jones will likely face off against Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski or challenger Marie Newman on Nov. 6 in the 3rd District, a traditionally Democratic district.
“I’ll have nine months to campaign for the general election,” Jones said. “I think I have a good chance.”