Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called on the avowed neo-Nazi who is the GOP’s sole candidate in an Illinois congressional race to drop out.
Arthur Jones, a former American Nazi Party leader and Holocaust denier, collected enough signatures in March to win the GOP primary for Illinois’ heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District.
“That guy has no place on the ballot,” Rauner (R) told WCIA TV on Tuesday night. “We tried to kick him off. I called him to get out, and he should be out. We should have somebody to run against him.”
The governor’s remarks came after criticism from JB Pritzker, his Democratic gubernatorial opponent.
“Days of silence from Bruce Rauner tells Illinoisans all they need to know: this failed governor can’t find the courage to call on an avowed Nazi to drop his bid for Congress,” a Pritzker campaign spokesman said in a statement. “This is no time to cower. Rauner must call on Arthur Jones to drop out immediately.”
Rauner had condemned Jones’ candidacy in February before he secured the nomination.
“There is no room for neo-Nazis in American politics,” Rauner said at the time. “I condemn this man in the strongest possible terms.”
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) urged Illinoisans to vote for the Democratic candidate, incumbent Dan Lipinski, instead of Jones.
“This bigoted fool should receive ZERO votes,” Cruz tweeted.
Although he condemned Jones, Rauner did not follow Cruz’s suit in telling people to vote for Lipinski instead, according to WCIA TV.
Jones, who has repeatedly run for Congress and other elected positions in the state, is not expected to win. However, he has not indicated any plans to depart the race. Last week, he was delighted to learn that the Illinois GOP did not find a third-party challenger to run against him.
“I snookered them,” Jones told Politico.
Though it would be difficult for any Republican to win in the predominantly Democratic district, the GOP has drawn national ridicule for failing to find a third-party challenger against Jones.