Republican Candidate Who Said Abortion and Gays Are Responsible For Tornadoes and Autism Wins Her Race
Susanne Atanus, an Illinois Republican House candidate who made headlines after she said that autism and dementia exist because God is angry about gay marriage and abortions, has won her primary race in the state’s ninth district.
Atanus defeated fellow Republican David Earl Williams III by a 52.4 to 47.6 margin.
In the primary debate, the two GOP House hopefuls squared off on the issues, with one taking a noticeably heavy-handed approach. When asked about abortion, Williams said that he is pro-life but thinks the decision over abortion should be left up to the man and woman rather than the government.
Atanus took a different stance. “I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first,” she said, before proceeding to tell the audience that she believes that God controls the weather and uses tornadoes and diseases like autism and dementia in response to gay rights and legal abortions. “God is angry. 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.”
The Windy City Times asked her to elaborate on those views. She did. “Everybody knows that God controls weather,” she said. “God is super angry. Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn’t look right, and it breeds AIDS.”
After her comments, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Jack Dorgan and Chicago Republican Party Chairman Adam Robinson both denounced her statements and leaders asked her to drop out of the primary race.
She didn’t, winning the Republican primary by a five-point margin. Now the party is growing worried that Atanus will be a liability as she’s running against Democratic incumbent Jan Schakowsky who wasn’t even opposed in her primary.
Whether Williams would have had much of a chance in the general election is another question. Schakowky has represented Illinois’ 9th district since 1999 while being largely known as one of the House’s most progressive members. Clearly the district leans left as the longtime Congresswoman has won every election she has run in with at least 66 percent of the vote.