Republican leaders called Thursday for Susanne Atanus to drop out of the GOP primary for the 9th Congressional District after she told the Daily Herald this winter's bitter weather is a sign that God is angry over abortions and same-sex marriage.
During an interview with the Daily Herald editorial board this week, Atanus said she believes God is angry because of same-sex marriage, abortions, civil unions and gay rights, resulting in severe weather and autism, among other things.
Her comments went viral on Thursday, resulting in a backlash online and among state party leaders.
On Thursday, Atanus said she will not drop out of the primary against David Earl Williams III, and as of late in the afternoon she said she still had not heard from the GOP leaders.
"I'm not withdrawing from the race. I don't know why they are not standing behind me," Atanus said. "They should talk to me personally. I will not back out of the race."
Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement on Thursday, "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."
"Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately."
Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, distanced himself from Atanus in the same statement.
"Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time," Robinson wrote.