A Republican congressional candidate from Illinois refused to honor her party’s call for her to abandon the race despite her sudden infamy, the Chicago Daily Herald reported on Thursday.
“I’m not withdrawing from the race,” Susanne Atanus told the Herald. “I don’t know why they are not standing behind me. They should talk to me personally. I will not back out of the race.”
Atanus’ candidacy gained the wrong kind of national spotlight on Wednesday after she expressed her belief that God created autism and dementia and extreme weather conditions to punish the U.S. on account of legalized abortion and the increasing support nationwide for marriage equality.
“God is angry,” she told the Herald. “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”
Atanus is running against David Earl Williams III for the right to represent the GOP against incumbent Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). However, Republican leaders at both the local and state level released a statement on Thursday disavowing her completely.
“Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately,” state party chair Jack Dorgan said in the statement, with Chicago chair Adam Robinson adding that “Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time.”
Listen to Atanus’ remarks, as posted by the Herald, below.
[Image credit: Daily Herald / Bob Chwedyk]