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U.S. Congress hopeful who said God punishes gay marriage with bad weather, wins primary

U.S. Congress hopeful who said God punishes gay marriage with bad weather, wins primary

CHICAGO — U.S. Congress hopeful Susanne Atanus, who said in January that God has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions, won a narrow victory in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Daily HeraldSusanne Atanus
Daily Herald
Susanne Atanus

Atanus will face eight-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky in the November election for a seat in the U.S. House representing Illinois’ 9th Congressional district.

Earlier this year, Atanus came under fire when, in an interview with the Daily Herald, said, “God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “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 remarks prompted the state’s Republican Party to sever ties with Atanus, but she ignored party leaders’ call for her withdraw from the race.

“I care a lot about the world and I care a lot about my obedience to serve God the right way,” she said back in January. “I can’t turn my eye and look the other way when I know that abortions, gay rights and civil unions are making God very angry.”

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Atanus, 55, isn’t new to politics.

She ran for the seat in 2010, but lost in the primary. She was removed from the ballot in 2012 because she didn’t have enough valid signatures.

Her opponent in Tuesday’s primary, Republican David Earl Williams III, has called for a recount, which showed 12,447 votes for Atanus and 12,012 votes for Williams, with all 338 Cook County precincts reporting.

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