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Neo-Nazi gets 10% in Republican primary – even after state party warned voters

A Holocaust denier got 10% of the votes in an Illinois Republican congressional primary — even after the state Republican Party undertook a major publicity push urging voters not to nominate him.

Arthur Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party and frequent political candidate, was the Republican nominee for the Third Congressional District race in 2018 because he was the only Republican candidate who signed up to run in the heavily Democratic district outside Chicago.

After he got the nomination, local and national Republican leaders urged citizens not to vote for their own nominee in the general election — but while Jones lost 74%-26% that November, he still got more than 56,000 votes.

Ahead of this year’s congressional primary, which unlike the last one had competitors, the Illinois Republican Party unleashed a series of robocalls, ads, door-knockers and mailers educating voters about Jones’ views, the Chicago-Sun Times reported. The effort partially worked: Jones came in third in the primary. But he still received more than 1,600 votes, around 10% of the total.

The state Republican party declared victory that their chosen candidate, Will County Board member Mike Fricilone, triumphed over Jones. “I promised that the Illinois Republican Party would do everything in its power to defeat Nazi Arthur Jones. And we did,” party chairman Tim Schneider said in a statement Tuesday. “Because many folks go to the polls and simply choose a familiar name in down ballot races, the ILGOP was committed to deploying resources to educate voters on Jones’ heinous views.”

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at pink@forward.com or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

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