ROCK ISLAND (AP) – Illinois Republican leaders are disavowing the party’s congressional candidate in the 17th District over contentious views they’ve promoted.
The state GOP chairman and other party officials say they’re withdrawing support for candidate Bill Fawell after reviewing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting that he posted to social media.
Fawell is the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, in the 17th congressional district, which includes Carroll and Whiteside counties.
GOP Chairman Tim Schneider said Fawell is a liar whose comments have hurt those affected by tragic events.
Fawell told The Dispatch-Argus in Rock Island that he tries to present alternate theories and that he’s never received any Republican Party support.
Bustos is seeking her fourth term in the district that leans strongly Democrat. When Bobby Schilling won election in 2010, he became the first Republican to serve the district since 1983. Bustos defeated Schilling in 2012, and again in 2014.
Schneider previously denounced outspoken Holocaust denier Arthur Jones, who’s the GOP nominee against Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski for a Chicago-area seat.