As November’s general election for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District seat approach, a west suburban man known as a Holocaust denier and for his ties to neo-Nazism is expected to be on the ballot.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: chicagotribune.com</span>
The former member of the American National Socialist Workers Party, 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 has run for political office several times in the past but has never made it past the primary stage in the 3rd District.
In 2016, Jones run 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.
Jones revealed that he went door-to-door stumping for signatures in 2017, 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.”
There have been reports from the Anti-Defamation League indicating that Jones has been involved with racist and anti-Semitic groups since the 1970s. Back in 1976, Jones ran for mayor in Milwaukee.
Jones said he was in TV commercials dressed as an American stormtrooper with slogans billing himself as “the White People’s Candidate.” He 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.
There’s a message on Jones campaign website claiming that the Holocaust is “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. He also recounts his parent’s service during World War 2.
“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.”
He also said he doesn’t support interracial marriage, 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.
There’s a great likelihood that the lack of a GOP challenger means Jones will face off against Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski or challenger Marie Newman on Nov. 6 in the 3rd District. “I’ll have nine months to campaign for the general election,” Jones said. “I think I have a good chance.”