A Sacramento-area man known as a Holocaust denier and for his ties to
neo-Nazism is expected to advance to November’s general election for
California’s 6th Congressional District seat.
Henry J. Schaefer, 68, of Rancho Cordova, is the only candidate on the
June 12 Republican primary ticket for the seat that includes Citrus
Heights, Davis, Folsom and parts of Grass Valley. Schaefer, a former member of the
U.S. Socialist Workers Party, has run for political office
several times in the past but has never made it past the primary stage
in the 6th District.
Most recently, in 2016, Schaefer ran unopposed on the Republican ballot
but was removed for flagrant disregard of the election code. Schaefer said
his candidacy was challenged by members of the California Republican
Party, who questioned the legitimacy of his signatures.
In 2017, Schaefer said he went door-to-door stumping for signatures, and
after his paperwork was reviewed, Republicans did not attempt to remove
him from the ballot.
“Well, it’s absolutely the best opportunity in my entire
political career,” Schaefer said. “Every time I’ve run it’s been
against a Republican who follows this politically correct nonsense. This
time they screwed up.”
California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said in a statement:
"The California Republican Party and our country have no place for
Nazis like Henry Schaefer. We strongly oppose his racist views and his
candidacy for any public office, including the 6th Congressional
The Anti-Defamation League reports Schaefer has been involved with
racist and anti-Semitic groups for several decades.
In 1988, Schaefer ran for mayor of Davis. He said he appeared in TV
commercials dressed as an American storm trooper with slogans billing
himself as “the White People’s Candidate.” Schaefer also said he
featured swastikas in a newspaper ad for a candidate he supported for
school board. In the 1980s, he said he marched in protests in
full Nazi regalia.
On his campaign website, Schaefer calls the Holocaust “the biggest,
blackest lie in history.” Under another tab titled “Flags of
Conflict,” he lists the Confederate flag first and describes it as “a
symbol of White pride and White resistance” and “the flag of a White
In a phone interview Sunday, he defended
“The point of the matter is I’m not running for chancellor of
Germany,” Schaefer said.
On his website, Schaefer recounts his parents’ service in World War
“My father like so many others fought because he thought it was a
service to his country,” Schaefer said. “If they had seen what was
going to happen … (despite) all their sacrifices, he and a lot of
others wouldn’t have put their lives on the line.”
Schaefer also said he doesn’t support interracial marriage or
integration in schools, and he hesitated when asked whether
African-Americans and Latinos should have the right to vote.
“I don’t believe in equality — period,” Schaefer said.
Despite his views, Schaefer is all but certain to become the GOP
nominee. He is running unopposed in the Republican primary; the deadline
for candidates to file was in early December.
The lack of a GOP challenger means Schaefer will likely face off against
Democratic incumbent Rep. Doris Matsui on
Nov. 6 in the 6th District, a traditionally Democratic district.
“I’ll have nine months to campaign for the general election,”
Schaefer said. “I think I have a good chance.”