An outspoken Holocaust denier is set to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat.
Arthur Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for Illinois' 3rd Congressional District.
Jones is unlikely to be much of a contender in November. Currently held by Rep. Dan Lipinski, the 3rd Congressional District is among the most Democratic in the state, with residents supporting Hillary Clinton for president by a margin of nearly 30 points in 2016.
While Jones has run unsuccessfully for elected office several times since the 1970s, a general election appearance on a statewide ballot is a significant victory for a candidate who refers to the Holocaust as “the biggest, blackest lie in history” on his campaign website and has praised the leadership of Adolf Hitler.
"There is a great deal of material - numerous books - written by Jewish Holocaust survivors, which when calmly examined, is revealed to be simply masterful, and emotional propaganda, whose purpose is designed to bleed, blackmail, extort and terrorize the enemies of organized world Jewry into silence," reads a section titled "Holocaust?" on Jones' campaign website.
Jones also ran for the same district in 2016, but had his petition signatures challenged by the Illinois Republican Party. Ultimately, he was removed from the ballot for “flagrant disregard for election code,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
However, in 2017, the state GOP declined to challenge his candidacy after reviewing his signatures.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider denounced their party’s soon-to-be nominee in a statement, saying, "The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jones said he had gone door-to-door with his petitions in 2017 in order to survive a legal challenge from Republican establishment.
“Well, it’s absolutely the best opportunity in my entire political career,” Jones said in an interview with 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.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was also among those denouncing Jones, saying in a statement, "There is no room for Neo Nazis in American politics. I condemn this man in the strongest possible terms."
In February 1985, NBC 5 political editor Carol Marin interviewed Jones as part of a series called "Whites on the Far Right," investigating a rise in violent far-right extremism in the Midwest. In the interview, Jones did not condemn violence from groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood, saying instead, "I would do anything to save my country."
"I don’t condemn them for what they did, but I don’t advocate it at this point in time."
In the archived footage, a man that appears to be Jones can be seen wearing a Nazi Stormtrooper outfit and swastika armband, marching in a group and shouting into a bullhorn at a rally in Cicero.