One of the more competitive U.S. House races in Illinois won’t take place in November. It’ll happen on March 20 in an overwhelmingly blue district. That’s because the question isn’t whether a Democrat will win. It’s which Democrat. Will it be the incumbent, Dan Lipinski, who opposes abortion, voted against a version of the Dream Act, and has opposed legislation banning workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people… or his challenger, Marie Newman, who represents the progressive wing of the party? It’s really a fight over what Democrats care about in the age of Trump.
The story that’s taken hold in the media, however, is about the man who is poised to become the Republican challenger in the race. That would be Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier and white supremacist. The Republicans have essentially conceded the race and have no plans to spend any money on it. They’re not even running a candidate. But that’s what paved the way for Jones to jump in.
Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement to the Sun-Times, “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, including the 3rd Congressional District.”
While Jones doesn’t have the formal support of the GOP, he will have an R next to his name on the ballot — and many Republicans in the district will almost certainly cast a vote for him rather than sit the election out, just as they did for Roy Moore in Alabama.
Even without party support, though, it’s telling that someone like Jones would proclaim himself a registered Republican. That’s the party he identifies with, and he’s the sort of monster the party now attracts. No one should be surprised by that. The Party may oppose Jones’ outright racism, but they stand behind Donald Trump, his frequent racist comments, and the white nationalists who advise him on a regular basis.
Why anyone would want to be a member of a party that attracts men like Jones is beyond me.
Incidentally, I reached out to Jones to ask about his religious affiliation, which goes unmentioned on his website outside of general “Christian nation” rhetoric such as how the LGBTQ movement is “a blatant assault on the Christian based foundation of this country.” He has not yet responded.
(Screenshot via YouTube)