If you live in the 3rd Congressional District, Art Jones — a Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and Republican candidate for Congress — may be knocking on your door.

And he’s passing out literature that includes some positions that may look friendly to supporters of President Donald Trump — writing that he stands in support of building a border wall, getting rid of “sanctuary cities,” repealing Obamacare and putting “America first.”

But Jones is also distributing information in which he writes there is “extreme hatred of Jews for Christians.” In a separate flier, he attacks his Democratic opponent, Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., for co-sponsoring a bill in 2014 that sought to defend Israel against academic boycotts.

“Just who is Lipinski serving — the people who elected him or his Jewish/Israeli masters?” reads a flier left on some Southwest Side doors earlier this month. Another flier states a “real Holocaust of Nuclear War” will happen unless the country puts “an end to this craven subservience to anything Israel demands of our government.”

Campaign flier from Republican candidate Art Jones, running in 3rd Congressional District.

Campaign flier from Republican candidate Art Jones.

 

Campaign flier from Republican candidate Art Jones, running in 3rd Congressional District.

Campaign flier from Republican candidate Art Jones.

Jones, a 70-year-old former insurance salesman, says he’s knocking on doors with a team of about “five or six” campaign workers. Federal election records show Jones hasn’t raised any money for his campaign.

“I say, ‘Hi, my name is Art Jones. I’m a candidate for Congress for the 3rd District and here’s some of my campaign literature for you,'” Jones said. “If you have any questions, my cellphone is right on the literature there. Call me anytime.'”

But does the “Holocaust Racket” come up? That’s what Jones calls the genocide carried out by the German Nazi regime and collaborators in other nations. Jones calls the Holocaust “one of the biggest scams” in history, saying there were no gas chambers and people in camps died from a “typhoid epidemic” when allies started bombing.

“It never comes up. When I got my signatures, nobody asked me about the damn Holocaust,” Jones said. “It’s totally irrelevant to my campaign. Totally irrelevant.”

GOP congressional candidate Arthur Jones.

Arthur Jones is the only Republican candidate on the primary ballot for the 3rd Congressional District. | Marcus DiPaola/Sun-Times

Of his reception from voters whose homes he’s visiting, Jones says they say, “‘Oh, he ain’t so bad.'”

Jones, who lives in suburban Lyons, has unsuccessfully run for elected offices in the Chicago area and Milwaukee since the 1970s. From the 1990s to 2016, he jumped in the GOP 3rd Congressional District primary seven times, never even close to becoming a viable contender.

But the Chicago Sun-Times reported in February that the perennial candidate was poised to win the GOP nomination this election cycle, because Republicans had not fielded an alternative candidate or been able to knock Jones from the ballot.

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Jones has been denounced by the Illinois Republican Party and by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The state GOP was able to knock Jones off the ballot in 2016 by challenging the signatures on his petitions. The party looked at Jones’ 2018 petitions and did not find a legal basis to object.

Asked whether the Lipinski campaign is making a concerted effort to let voters know of Jones’ views, the longtime Democratic congressman said in a statement that Jones “must be rejected by voters because of the vile, bigoted, anti-Semitic rhetoric and policies that he supports. . . . I am hopeful he will not be able to use his current run to reach a much bigger audience for his hate.”

‘One of my prouder moments’

An image of Jones was featured on the front page of the Sun-Times on Oct. 29, 1979. It showed Jones on his knees, trying to burn an Israeli flag.

“Art Jones, a member of the Nationalist Socialist White People’s Party, a splinter Nazi group, is arrested Sunday night outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel for trying to burn an Israeli flag,” the photo caption reads. “He was among 15 members of his party picketing an awards dinner in the hotel in which Gov. [Jim] Thompson received the State of Israel Bonds Twelve Tribes of Israel Award. . . . He was charged with disorderly conduct.”

Asked about the arrest this week, Jones called it “one of my prouder moments.

“At about 6 o’clock, a car pulled around . . . and they gave me a flag soaked in kerosene, and I lit the thing and it started to smolder a bit,” Jones said. “Then a cop grabbed it out of my hands. This was really beautiful. He grabbed it out of my hands and he threw it on the ground and he stamped all over it.

“The whole anti-war movement against the Vietnam War was Jewish-found, Jewish-financed and Jewish-led,” Jones added. “I’ll never forgive these bastards for that.”

Asked to respond to Jones’ comments, and his campaign literature, Anti-Defamation League regional director Lonnie Nasatir called Jones an “anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot” who “continues to espouse absurd conspiracy theories questioning the deaths of millions of Jews.”