WASHINGTON — Democratic House hopeful Marie Newman said Wednesday if elected she would hold quarterly “peace forums” in the 3rd District because a Republican Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite, anti-gay white supremacist — who got 26% of the vote in 2018 — is running again.
In 2018, Arthur Jones won the GOP nomination because he was the only Republican running. Even with his views exposed, in the general election against Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., Jones got 57,885 votes to Lipinski’s 163,053 votes.
The timing of the proposal comes, said Newman campaign manager Ben Hardin, because the deadline to file objections to Jones nominating petitions closed Dec. 9. According to Illinois State Board of Elections records, 10 people representing various interests — including the Illinois Republican Party and Lipinski’s campaign — looked at Jones’ petition. Apparently none found enough flaws to create grounds for an objection.
Jones “is officially on the ballot for the March primary,” Hardin said.
“Donald Trump and his xenophobic administration have emboldened hate across our country,” said Newman in a statement. “Unfortunately, we don’t need to look any further than our own backyard to see hate creeping in.”
On Thursday, Newman, from LaGrange, will hold what her campaign called an “interfaith” press conference in suburban Countryside to discuss the Jones’ candidacy. She will be joined by Methodist, Jewish and Pentecostal supporters as well as Shadin Maali, a Muslim who is Newman’s campaign chairwoman.
“Art Jones is proof that we need to work harder, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as neighbors on the Southwest Side, to root out and address hate in our community,” Newman said.
“Illinois’ Third District is wonderfully diverse and it is absolutely unacceptable that we have someone in Art Jones who is giving a platform to anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ hate. As the next Congressperson in Illinois’ Third District, I pledge to hold quarterly “peace forums” across our district as a means to address the hate personified in Mr. Jones and as a means to heal. We need our leaders in Congress to build bridges, not walls.”
Newman’s major rivals are Lipinski, from Western Springs, and Rush Darwish, from Palos Hills, who runs a radio and television production business.
Jones faces two Republican opponents, Will County GOP Board Member Mike Fricilone and Catherine O’Shea, a real estate broker from Oak Lawn.
Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider said when Jones filed his petitions earlier this month the party “vehemently condemns Arthur Jones’ candidacy. His racism and bigotry have no place in our party or American politics. As we did in 2016 and 2018, we will oppose his candidacy in every way possible.”