Bruce Rauner is pictured. | Getty

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner had previously stopped just short of Sen. Ted Cruz’s call to vote for a Democrat, saying merely that voters should write in a candidate. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday followed Sen. Ted Cruz’s lead and called for voters in a Chicago-area congressional district to “vote for anybody” but the avowed Nazi running as a Republican.

Rauner made the remarks after declining earlier this week to go as far as Cruz — who had publicly urged Illinois residents to vote for a Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski, or write in a candidate, rather than cast a ballot for Holocaust denier Arthur Jones. Jones captured the Republican nomination after running uncontested in the March primary.

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Rauner had stopped just short of Cruz’s call to vote for a Democrat, saying merely that voters should write in a candidate in November — a statement that created another round of negative headlines about Jones’ candidacy on the Republican ticket.

“To the voters of the 3rd Congressional District: vote for anybody but Arthur Jones. Nazis have no place in our country and no one should vote for him,” Rauner said via Twitter. “For the media or anyone else to suggest I think otherwise is offensive and irresponsible.”

Last week, POLITICO reported that the Illinois Republican Party, which Rauner nearly single-handedly bankrolls, had failed on four occasions to keep Jones off the ballot.

“I snookered them,” Jones boasted after learning the state GOP had failed to mount a third-party challenge.



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