A Republican candidate for Congress in California is openly running as a Holocaust denier, calling it a “complete fabrication” in an interview with The New York Times published Friday.
John Fitzgerald secured one of the top two spots in California’s “jungle” primary system last month, where the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the general election.
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Fitzgerald is slated to face off against incumbent Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierDozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Rep. DeSaulnier leaves ICU after 3 weeks to continue treatment for pneumonia Rep. DeSaulnier in critical condition due to pneumonia MORE in November in the reliably blue district near San Francisco.
Fitzgerald included calls on his campaign website for people to note “Jewish supremacism” and said last week on a radio show hosted by an anti-Semitic commentator that “everything we’ve been told about the Holocaust is a lie,” according to The Times.
The candidate told The Times this week that the Holocaust was a “complete fabrication” and placed blame for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the Israeli government.
Fitzgerald said that he identifies more as an independent and has previously run for Congress as a Democrat.
He also denied that he is anti-Semitic, telling The Times that he has “friends that are Jewish.”
“I have no issue with any people. I have issues with people who lie. It’s the elitists who control it all,” Fitzgerald added.
The California Republican Party automatically endorsed Fitzgerald in the race but withdrew its support in May after learning about his anti-Semitic views, according to the newspaper.
“As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible,” party chairman Jim Brulte said in the statement withdrawing the endorsement. “We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”
Fitzgerald told The Times that the GOP’s condemnation of his bid wasn’t surprising because both parties are controlled by “Jewish elitists.”
DeSaulnier, Fitzgerald’s Democratic incumbent opponent, told The Times that he believes the candidate won 23 percent of the vote in last month’s primary because Americans “see ‘R’ and they see ‘D’ and that’s how they vote.”
This is at least the second time the California GOP has condemned a candidate from the party with anti-Semitic views: The party denounced Republican Senate candidate Patrick Little last month after he denied that the Holocaust took place and called for a U.S. “free from Jews.”