Neo-Nazi becomes Republican candidate in Chicago

Neo-Nazi becomes Republican candidate in Chicago
A Holocaust-denying, white supremacist will represent Donald Trump's Republican Party in Chicago elections.
2 min read
22 March, 2018
Art Jones will run for the Chicago seat [Art Jones]

A white supremacist who has denied the Holocaust ever happened will represent Donald Trump's party in US elections.

Arthur Jones - or Art - will represent the Republicans at Congressional elections for a seat representing portions of Chicago and neighbouring suburbs. 

Jones is an advocate of racial segregation whose campaign website includes a section called "The Holocaust Racket".

He won an uncontested race for the Republican nomination during Illinois state's primary election Tuesday and now compete for the US House seat in a heavily Democratic district of the Midwestern state. 

The Illinois Republican Party did not present a challenger in the district, because a Republican candidate was unlikely to succeed in a general election matchup against the Democratic incumbent Dan Lipinski, who has held the seat since 2005. 

The party also had condemned Jones's candidacy and urged voters to disavow him. 

"The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office," the state party's chairman Tim Schneider said in a February statement. 

The controversial candidate secured approximately 20,000 votes Tuesday, according to Scott Kennedy, author of the website Illinois Election Data, which collected preliminary vote totals. 

By comparison, Lipinski received more than 47,000 votes for his party's nomination. 

Seventy-year-old is a retired insurance agent, has unsuccessfully run for elected office since the 1970s, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

While he described himself as a former leader of the American Nazi Party, he insisted to CNN that he did not belong to any particular party. 

"I call myself an American patriot and statesman," Jones in a CNN interview. 

When pressed, he admitted denying the Holocaust, calling it "nothing but an international extortion racket by the Jews."

Jones added that he only belongs to his own group, called the America First Committee, whose membership is open only to white people of non-Jewish descent.

He describes the US conflicts abroad as "Jew Wars" on his website and is also opposed to gay and bisexual men and women.

The US far-right has seen something of a resurgence since President Donald Trump assumed office last year on a nativist "America First" platform.

Trump came under fire last August for failing to forcefully condemn a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in clashes and the death of a counter-protester.

He has also attached himself to activists such as Steve Bannon and far-right website Breitbart.