Arthur Jones is running as the only Republican nominee on the ticket for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, a heavily Democratic district. Jones has denied the Holocaust and spoken at neo-Nazi rallies. Republicans, including the Illinois governor up for re-election this year, are distancing themselves.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. He Denies the Holocaust, Calling It a “Racket”
Arthur Jones is an outspoken anti-semite and white nationalist. He has spoken publicly at numerous neo-Nazi rallies and events, and protested the opening of the Holocaust museum in Illinois as well as participated in events celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones said to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and heads the America First Committee.
“Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent,” he told the Sun-Times.
A section on Jones’ campaign website titled “Holocaust?” includes a statement titled “Holocaust Racket.” It reads:
“The 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. Other than a few Professional Concentration Camp Survivors, such as the late Simon Wiesenthal or the current Semitic super star Elie Wiesel, there is no proof such a so-called ‘Holocaust’ ever took place anywhere in Europe, against the Jews.”
The front page of his website says “It’s Time to Put America First,” an apparent nod to President Trump’s “America First” campaign. Trump’s slogan was taken from the America First Committee, an anti-Semitic group. The Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups asked Trump to stop using the phrase during his campaign.
Jones was a supporter of President Trump, but in a recent YouTube video he said he was sorry he voted for him because he has “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews.”
Jones also promotes white nationalism. His website has a page called “Flags of Conflict,” where he calls the Confederate flag a “symbol of White pride and White resistance.” Next to a photo of the Mexican flag, the site says “This is the flag of Mexico. This is a nation whose leaders believe they can reconquer the American Southwest, by flooding our country with millions of illegal aliens. And, their plan is working.” Text next to an LGBT rainbow flag says, “This is a flag that represents an attack on traditional Christian morality and religious freedom.”
In a blog post from August 24, Jones blames “Radical Leftists” for inciting racial violence in Charlottesville.
2. He’s Never Won an Election, but Is Unchallenged in His District
Jones has unsuccessfully run for office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in the Chicago area since the 1970s. He ran for Milwaukee mayor in 1976. In 1987, he ran for 13th Ward alderman on Chicago’s southwest side. He has run in the 3rd Congressional District primary seven times between the 1990s and 2016. He has never even come close to winning, but this time he’s the only Republican on the ballot.
The 3rd Congressional District is one of the most Democratic districts in Illinois. It covers Chicago wards 11, 13, 14, 19, and 23, as well as much of the southwest suburbs.
According to Ballotpedia, the district remains “safely Democratic.”
3. Republicans Are Distancing Themselves From Him
Because the region is historically so democratic, Republicans didn’t go to the effort of finding a candidate to rally behind. Now, stuck with an neo-Nazi, they are distancing themselves.
In a statement to the Sun-Times, Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said, “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.”
Governor Bruce Rauner, running for re-election this year, said, “I would not lower myself to ask Bruce Rauner to campaign for me or vote for me.”
4. On Most Issues, He Has Far-Right Views
Jones is campaigning against illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, which he calls “the dumbest idea ever conceived.” He wants to make English the official language of the Untied States.
On social issues, he says “Pro-Life–Yes. Homosexual Agenda–No!” He is against giving any money to Planned Parenthood and says the “homosexual movement” is an assault on the teachings of Christianity. He wants to impose term limits for all federal judges, partly because he says “in 32 states, the people voted against same-sex marriage. But in each case, federal judges ignored the wishes of the people and struck down state laws banning same-sex marriages.”
He is for repealing the Affordable Care Act and repealing all income tax. Instead, he proposes a flat 10% sales tax. He wants to repeal NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both of which he calls “treasonous.”
He believes most Americans should be able to own any gun of their choice, but does not believe that members of gangs, undocumented immigrants, drug users or dealers, or those with a mental illness should be able to own a gun.
5. He’s a Vietnam Vet and an Insurance Salesman
Jones was born on January 1, 1948 in Beloit, Wisconsin. In 1969 he joined the army and served one year in Vietnam. He then attended the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, where he majored in journalism and political science. While there, he was a member of Young Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom, Republicans for Wallace, and Republican National Committee.
He worked as a chipper and grinder until he suffered a back injury. He then worked as an insurance broker for Mutual of Omaha Insurance. He is now retired and lives in Lyon, Illinois.
He and his wife Patricia, who is from Chicago, have been married for 33 years.