US House candidate's Holocaust remarks alienate California GOP

An alleged Holocaust denier and former Democratic candidate for California’s House, is now running as a Republican for a U.S. House seat in the state's 11th Congressional District.

John Fitzgerald gained 23 percent of the vote in the June primary, but the California Republican Party wants nothing to do with him after alleged anti-Semitic comments came to light, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

But the GOP's distancing from Fitzgerald appeared not to have deterred the candidate.

Last week, Fitzgerald reportedly appeared on a neo-Nazi radio show, commenting, “Everything we’ve been told about the Holocaust is a lie. My entire campaign is about exposing this lie.”

“Everything we’ve been told about the Holocaust is a lie. My entire campaign is about exposing this lie.”

- John Fitzgerald, candidate for U.S. House seat in California

Fitzgerald secured one of the two top spots on California’s “jungle” primary system, meaning the top two candidates who win the primaries, regardless of party affiliation, move on to the November midterm ballots.

In a May entry on his website, Fitzgerald claimed that the Jews played a role in the transatlantic slave trade. The comment prompted the California GOP and Republican Jewish Coalition to issue a joint statement denouncing Fitzgerald.

“As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible,” the statement read. “We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.” 

“As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible. We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”

- Joint statement, California GOP and Republican Jewish Coalition

In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Fitzgerald chalked up the GOP’s denunciation to the fault of “Jewish elitists” who supposedly run both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Matt Fleming, a spokesman for the California Republican Party, blamed the party’s "minimal vetting” for allowing Fitzgerald to advance to this point -- and said the party plans to rectify the situation.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.