Holocaust Denier Wins GOP Congressional Primary In Illinois By Default

A gadfly candidate who has denied the truth of the Holocaust won a GOP primary in Illinois because nobody ran against him.

A far-right candidate who has denied the truth of the Holocaust has won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic incumbent Dan Lipinski in Illinois Congressional District, but there’s little chance he will win in the fall:

Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier described as a Nazi by the Illinois Republican Party, won the Republican primary on Tuesday in the state’s Third Congressional District, a heavily Democratic district that includes part of Chicago and its suburbs, according to The Associated Press.

Mr. Jones, 70, unsuccessfully sought the nomination five times before, and his victory on Tuesday was a foregone conclusion after the Republican Party failed to draft another candidate to enter the race against him.

“Even if only myself and my wife voted for me, I’d win the primary because the Republican Party screwed up big time,” Mr. Jones said in an interview.

The Illinois Republican Party has sought to distance itself from Mr. Jones in recent weeks, blanketing the district with campaign fliers and robocalls urging voters to “stop Illinois Nazis,” according to a robocall script provided by the party. Mr. Jones said he had received three robocalls himself.

“Arthur Jones is not a real Republican — he is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse,” Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman, said in a statement. He said the party had urged voters “to skip over his name when they go to the polls” and moving forward planned on “vehemently opposing Jones with real campaign dollars.”

As noted, Jones did not have the endorsement of the Illinois Republican Party or of any official Republican organization in the Chicago area that the 3rd District covers. Additionally, official party organizations are saying they will donate money that would have gone to the Republican nominee in this race to an Independent candidate, although it isn’t clear who that might be or what impact it would have on the race. In any case, it seems unlikely that Jones really has any chance of winning in the District. Congressman Lipinski first won the seat, which had previously been held by his father, with more than 70% of the vote in 2004 and more than 65% of the vote in 20 14, which is the last time he faced a Republican challenger. In 2016, he didn’t face a Republican challenger at all. Finally, Hillary Clinton won the district by fifteen points in 2016.

Clearly, Jones only won the primary because he was the only candidate on the ballot. He won’t have that advantage in November, and the fact that the district is so heavily Democratic means that he really has no chance of winning regardless of whether or not there is another candidate on the ballot. All the same, it would have been better if the GOP could have come up with some sacrificial lamb to run against Jones and at least prevent him from claiming to be the representative of the party, which he clearly is not.


FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Congress, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    There are a lot of races where Democrats don’t field candidates. And yet, somehow, our ballot line is never filled by a Nazi. Nope, if it’s a Nazi running, he runs as a Republican. Every Nazi knows that the GOP is much closer to him than the Democrats are. I wonder why that is?

  2. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Meh, lots of uncontested Democratic races were filled by Larouchites. It’s not a large step up.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I was not a LaRouche fan, but he’s not a Nazi. And what you’re talking about was what, 30 years ago?

  4. grumpy realist says:

    I voted yesterday (mainly for the judges) and on the Dem ballot there was one position which didn’t even have any candidate. Bizarre.

  5. Just... says:

    ” Every Nazi knows that the GOP is much closer to him than the Democrats are. I wonder why that is?”

    Funny, I don’t wonder that at all.

  6. SenyorDave says:

    Doug, at this point you might just want to have the Picard facepalm be the default graphic for anything relating to politics that involve a republican. The exception seems to be when the party does something that is responsible.

  7. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds: The LaRouche movement for some reason has long identified itself with the left, though its ideology is bizarre bordering on incoherent (I once listened for a few minutes to their spiel by an activist who accosted me on campus and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it) and has a far-right feel to it. LaRouche has questioned not only global warming, but also whether six million Jews were killed in WWII. The ADL has called LaRouche a “small-time Hitler.” During the Tea Party protests of 2009, Barney Frank was confronted by an activist who compared Obama to Hitler (to which Frank said it was like having a conversation with a “dining room table”); it turned out the activist was a LaRouchite.

  8. Kylopod says:

    For the record, reading through the history of neo-Nazis and white nationalists running for office in the United States, one of them–Tom Metzger–managed to win the Democratic primary for California’s 43rd district in 1980. A long time ago, to be sure. I agree with Michael Reynolds that in the present day, “if it’s a Nazi running, he runs as a Republican.”

  9. Gustopher says:

    “I hate Illinois Nazis.”

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Lord knows I think the Modern Republican Party is an abomination, but this guy is a fluke. He’s not just a holocaust denier, he was actually a member of the American Nazi Party (although he says that’s in the past now). Dems have their share of loonies and I’m sure some of them make it onto the ballot in heavily Republican districts because no one else wants to run.

  11. Leonard says:

    The party of Keith Ellison probably shouldn’t play Six Degrees of Anti-Semitism. He’s in the Democratic leadership. And didnt’ we just have a face-palm article about a DC councilman who blamed the bad weather on the Jews?

  12. Kylopod says:


    The party of Keith Ellison probably shouldn’t play Six Degrees of Anti-Semitism.

    Who’s playing Six Degrees of Anti-Semitism here? The candidate here is an actual anti-Semite, not simply someone who had past associations with one. Do you disagree?