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.