Holocaust Denier Loses 3rd District GOP Primary

Mike Fricilone won the Republican primary for Illinois' 3rd District on Tuesday, the Associated Press projects, defeating white supremacist and Holocaust denier Art Jones the chance to again appear on a general election ballot.

Fricilone won 58% of the vote with 99% of precincts reporting as of late Tuesday, results show. Catherine O’Shea took second with 32% of the vote and Jones got 10% - 1,611 votes.

In 2018, more than 57,000 people voted to send Jones to Congress when he ran against incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski.

Jones made the 2018 ballot after running unopposed in the March Republican primary. Jones – a former leader of the American Nazi Party who calls the Holocaust “an extorsion [sic] racket” on his website – has unsuccessfully run for elected office several times since the 1970s, including the same Congressional seat now six times before.

He failed to make the ballot in 2016 after the Illinois Republican Party challenged his petition signatures, but in the most recent cycle, the state GOP declined to challenge his candidacy or run another candidate, clearing his path to the nomination. The party ultimately denounced Jones and two write-in candidates ran for the seat, though the safely blue district sent Lipinski back to Washington.

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. Carol Marin reports.

Jones filed to run again, but this time was bested by both O'Shea and Fricilone.

Fricilone is the executive sales director of an office furniture dealer and a member of the Will County Board since 2012, who ran on a platform focused on tax reduction. O’Shea told the Beverly Review that she is a real estate agent and hairdresser, who switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP in 2016.

Though the district may be strongly Democratic, the race remained one to watch to see just how many voters would cast their ballots for a man who has marched with a swastika armband.

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