Yes, you read that right, former leader of the American Nazi Party Arthur Jones is about to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat. Jones is a Holocaust denying rabid anti-Semite who believes the mass genocide of the Jewish people in 1940's Germany is "an international extortion racket".
“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany," Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times. "All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.”
Jones is the only one on the Republican ballot so it isn't as if the GOP is deliberately running a nutjob à la Roy Moore. And to the party's credit they have denounced him severely. Jones also ran in 2016 unopposed, but was removed from the ballot by the Illinois Republican Party because of incorrectly filling out his paperwork. Reported the Times:
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.”
That being said, the fact that Jones is running as a Republican says a lot about the current state of the party responsible for aiding and abetting a white supremacist in the White House. With the president openly stating his desire to prevent black and brown people coming into the country in favor of white, blond haired and blue eyed Norwegians, it is hardly surprising that people like Jones feel emboldened. In fact, Jones’s campaign includes the slogan “It’s time to put America First!”, an overt reference to the candidate he enthusiastically supported in 2016. According to Newsweek, Jones "has since said he regrets voting for Trump because the president has "surrounded himself with hoards of Jews.""
Thankfully, Jones has no chance of winning the seat given he's running in an Democratic stronghold, and he will do the Democrats a huge favor given the immense damage he is doing to the Republican Party. As revolting as his candidacy is, it does shine a very bright light on the current state of the GOP. This is a party that has openly embraced child molesters, religious bigots and white supremacy. And while Holocaust deniers like Jones appear to be a step too far, the image of the Republican party is already so badly damaged that their denouncement doesn't really mean much at all.