Art Jones paused for a moment when asked if he was once a Nazi.
His face grimaced as he considered his answer. “I don’t like that term Nazi,” he replied. He prefers to call himself a National Socialist.
For voters who cast a ballot in Illinois’ 3rd District Jones is also the Republican nominee for Congress. He faces Dan Lipinski, a six-term Democrat, as well as two write-in candidates, Justin Hanson and Kenneth Yerkes.
Since Jones’ days in the 1970s marching in Chicago with a swastika on his arm, there has never been anything subtle about his political views.
In a 1985 interview in a Cicero apartment Jones laid out his political beliefs this way: “I am pro-American, pro-white, pro-Constitution, pro-Christian.”
He has over the course of more than three decades run for mayor of Chicago, alderman and this marks his 8thattempt at trying to win a seat in Congress.
He got on the November ballot because no other Republican attempted to run in the March primary for the seat.
State GOP leaders have since rebuked his candidacy. “Well, they can rebuke me all they want,” he said, adding “they are a bunch of idiots.”
Jones has no campaign office---the one in his last campaign he said was vandalized. He won’t say how much money he’s raised.
He is no to sanctuary cities.
No to a woman’s right to choose.
No to marriage equality.
But perhaps his biggest no is his denial of the Holocaust where 6-million Jews were killed by the Nazis.
“It’s an international extortion racket,” he said in an interview. “You are just willing to take the lies of, of so-called Holocaust survivors.”
“Art Jones is a Holocaust denier. He is a bigot,” said incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski. “I try to ignore Art Jones.”
But try as he may, Lipinski’s name will appear just above Jones’ on the November ballot.
“He knows he’s not going to win,” said Lipinski. “The only thing he can gain is the hope he can reach out to some more people.”
The 3rd District runs from Bridgeport to Lockport and was once home to so-called Reagan Democrats. In 2016, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the district with 55 percent of the vote. What surprised some is that Jones, in this year’s March primary, received just over 20,000 votes.
“I don’t truly believe that 20,000 people support Art Jones and his views,” Lipinski said.
Jones’ views include that Timothy McVeigh did not blow up the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people. And that citizens should be allowed to restrict---to 10 percent--- residents they don’t want in their neighborhoods.
“Jewish people, gay people. Anybody that the neighborhood in question does not want in their neighborhood,” he said.
Among Jones’ other verbal targets is the news media, which he contends is controlled by Jews and what he terms liberal “Pink Crusader Rabbits.” And, while he rails against the media Jones has learned to use the medium he says he so detests, appearing on national broadcasts earlier this year when he became the de-facto GOP nominee.
“I think the only thing he gets out of this, being the Republican nominee, is a megaphone,” said Lipinski.