Susanne Atanus won Tuesday’s Republican primary election and will face Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky in November for the right to represent the 9th congressional district of Illinois. Atanus is remembered for having said that God is punishing Americans for their support of marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights with scourges like dementia, autism, and severe weather.
Atanus won the right to run against the progressive Schakowsky by obtaining 54 percent of the vote against Edgewater Beach resident and veteran David Earl Williams III.
“I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first,” Atanus insisted during a suburban Daily Herald endorsement session.
“God is angry,” she continued. “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”
Not long after sharing her anti-gay views with the Daily Herald editorial board on Jan. 20, the 55 year old Niles, Ill. resident was disavowed by leaders of the Illinois Republican Party and Chicago Republican Party. She was even asked to withdraw her candidacy.
At the time, the party issued a statement to Chicago Phoenix that insisted the party would not support the Niles-resident’s bid.
“The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican,” Republican Party Chairman Jack Dorgan said. “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”
The 9th congressional district includes Chicago’s North Side where many of its Republicans hold moderate social views. The Chicago party organization stood up against Atanus’ statements.
“Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP,” said Chairman Adam Robinson. “Nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time.”
Atanus ran for the same congressional seat in 2010 and lost. In 2012, her name was pulled from the primary ballot for lack of signatures.
Schakowsky has a long history supporting the LGBT community in word and deed—supporting bills covering various LGBT issues in the U.S. House. Her congressional offices prominently display the rainbow Pride flag.