A Nazi Just Won the GOP Nomination For a Congressional Seat in Illinois

Update: On March 20, Arthur Jones won the GOP nomination for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, after running unopposed. Jones will now face off against a still-to-be-decided Democratic candidate in the 2018 midterm elections.

If you need more proof of crumbling American ideologies — particularly, Republican ideologies — look no further than aspiring Illinois politician Arthur "Art" Jones, an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier associated with the neo-Nazis and KKK who is poised to snag a Republican nomination for a congressional race.

A 70-year-old retired insurance agent, Jones has a history of running for office — and failing. He made an early run for Milwaukee mayor in 1976 and throughout the '90s and aughts made numerous attempts to secure a seat in Congress. More importantly, he was a leader in the American Nazi Party — and currently leads the America First Committee, an Illinois-based hate group that has been flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Jones is running unopposed for the GOP nomination in the 3rd Congressional District, and he'll face off against one of two Democratic candidates; it'll either be Dan Lipinski, the current highly conservative representative in office for his seventh term, or Marie Newman, a rival with a background in business hoping to replace "career politician" Lipinski and his "far-right record." The one silver lining here is that there is a possibility that Jones could be knocked off the ballot as he was in 2016, after election code violations. The district he is running in is highly Democratic — hence why he ran for the ticket unopposed — and he is poised for a major loss, should he make it to November.

Still, Jones has become a topic of much discussion given his history, as well as his highly unsavory — and not to mention retrograde — points of view. In a recent interview with The Chicago Sun-Times, Jones's opinions were reiterated to the shock of many: "To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It's an international extortion racket," Jones said before referring to the tragedy as the "biggest blackest lie in history." The congressional hopeful's campaign website includes the image of the GOP elephant draped in a Confederate flag, which is noted on the site to be "a symbol of White pride and White resistance." It also features photos of Jones speaking at KKK and neo-Nazi events.

It's obvious that Jones has highly destructive opinions — and that's exactly why he has been tracked by the Anti-Defamation League for years. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Republicans have spoken out against the candidate, saying that the party in Illinois and beyond has "no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones." But regardless of what ultimately comes of Jones, his voice has been amplified. Moreover, he is far from a lone agent — many (highly troubling) GOP candidates are in the process of running for office, like Trump pardonee Joe Arpaio in Arizona (who recently gave interviews to five anti-Semitic publications), Paul Nehlen in Wisconsin (a Christian conservative who said Jews will "burn in hell"), and failed Senate hopeful Roy Moore in Alabama (who is noted for sexual assault allegations and anti-gay, anti-Muslim views and employed anti-Semites).

While Jones will likely fade into political obscurity, the fact that he is this close to taking an office on behalf of Republicans (and remains unchecked in his pursuit) is something that we should all remain aware of. And as we head toward the Fall's midterm elections, it's a reminder of how important it is to know what the candidates running in your area stand for — and how important it is to exercise your vote.