Two Republicans disavowed by the state GOP are again seeking congressional nominations as the filing period for candidates seeking a spot on the March ballot ends Monday.
Making another run in the 3rd Congressional District is Art Jones, a Holocaust denier from Lyons who was unopposed for the 2018 Republican nomination and won 26 percent of the general election vote against Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Western Springs.
Unlike last year, however, Jones, a perennial candidate for public office, faces potential GOP primary opponents. Will County Board member Mike Fricilone of Homer Glen and Catherine O’Shea of Oak Lawn have both filed for the race.
The state party repeated its opposition to Jones on Monday.
"The Illinois Republican 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,” Tim Schneider, the state Republican chairman, said in a statement.
In the 2018 Democratic primary, the socially conservative Lipinski narrowly survived a challenge from progressive candidate Marie Newman. Newman is seeking a rematch against the eight-term incumbent, and two other Democrats also have filed for the race: Rush Darwish of Palos Hills and Charles Hughes of Chicago.
Also seeking a return to the ballot is Bill Fawell of Galena in the 17th Congressional District in northwestern Illinois where three-term Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is seeking reelection.
In 2018, state and local Republicans disavowed Fawell’s candidacy after he used social media to push several false conspiracy theories, including ones about mass shootings, 9/11 and children being trafficked for sex through a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor.
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Schneider told the Dispatch-Argus in 2018 that “Fawell has a problem with the truth, and his statements have done a disservice to the individuals who lost their lives from terrible acts of violence.”
Asked for a response to Fawell’s latest effort, the state GOP said in a statement: “The chairman and party’s feelings about Falwell haven’t changed from 2018. We condemn his candidacy and will not support him.”
Like Jones, Fawell was unopposed in last year’s Republican primary and got nearly 40 percent of the vote against Bustos. And this time around Fawell also faces an apparent March primary challenge. Esther Joy King of East Moline and Eugene Farrell of Roseville have both filed in the race.
In the biography on his website, Fawell says he’s a member of the prominent DuPage County Republican family that included former U.S. Rep. Harris Fawell, the late former state Sen. Beverly Fawell and the late former DuPage County chief judge Bruce Fawell.
Fawell has said the Republican organizations who have disavowed his candidacy “are corrupt and un-American,” according to Shaw Media’s saukvalley.com.
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