A Republican state legislator in Illinois admitted his party was mistaken in missing multiple opportunities to counter the nomination of Arthur Jones, a neo-Nazi congressional candidate.
"I think it’s really harmful to the party," Rep. David McSweeney (R), a conservative in Illinois' state legislature told Politico. "The guy’s a complete nutcase. He’s a Nazi. This is an absolute political disaster.”
Politico noted in its report on the candidate who once led the American Nazi Party that Illinois Republicans "botched four different opportunities" to stop Jones from becoming their nominee.
"McSweeney’s comments come just days after the filing deadline passed for qualifying a third-party candidate for the general election — which could have provided a safe harbor for Illinois Republican votes," the report continued. "Prior to that, the party had also failed to recruit a candidate to challenge Jones in the primary election, failed to knock him off the primary ballot and wasn’t able to field a write-in candidate against him in the primary."
When he was informed that the party wouldn't be running a third-party candidate against him, Jones reportedly laughed.
"That’s great! That’s fantastic!" the nominee who called the Holocaust an "international extortion racket" on his now-defunct campaign website told Politico.
"I snookered them," Jones continued. "I played by the rules, what can I say?"
Part of the reason the GOP's continual failure to circumvent Jones' nomination is that he's running in a "district heavily favored for Democrats," Illinois Republican Party spokesman Aaron DeGroot told Politico.