A former American Nazi Party official who's tried and failed to run for office several times is now poised to take the GOP nomination for Illinois's Third Congressional District. Arthur Jones, a retired insurance agent, will be the only candidate on the Republican ballot during the March 20 primary, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Jones has been tied to hate groups since the 1970s. He left the American Nazi Party in 1980 to revive an anti-Communist group called the America First Committee, and spent the ensuing decades celebrating Hitler's birthday, protesting the opening of Holocaust museums, and attending neo-Nazi rallies. He's run for office several times, never making it past the primary stage. Jones tried to run for the Third District in 2016, but the state election board determined that none of the signatures he collected were valid.
But now the 70-year-old seems to have figured out how to clear the necessary hurdles. He's running to represent parts of southwestern Chicago on an "America First" platform, which, according to his campaign website, means bringing home the troops and getting rid of sanctuary cities. It also apparently means spreading his denial of the Holocaust, calling it a "racket" invented by Jewish people who want to claim certain tax deductions.
"I am running for this office because I am concerned about the future of our country," reads the site's homepage. "I am not now, nor have I ever been a follower of any political party, though I am a registered Republican."
The neo-Nazi sympathizer has almost no chance of winning—the Republican Party of Illinois has disavowed him, and he's campaigning in a district that almost always elects Democrats, according to Ballotpedia. However, the fact that he's running at all is indicative of a disturbing pattern of far-right extremists dipping their toes into mainstream politics. In Florida, the goat blood-drinking Augustus Invictus briefly campaigned for Senate as a Republican before returning to activism with the alt-right. Former KKK leader David Duke got 3 percent of the vote in Louisiana's 2016 Senate race. Meanwhile, the Republican running against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin won't deny he's a white supremacist.
"Well, it’s absolutely the best opportunity in my entire political career,” Jones told the Chicago Tribune. "Every time I’ve run it’s been against a Republican who follows this politically correct nonsense. This time they screwed up."
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