Tony Zirkle is a biennial Republican candidate for Congress in Indiana. He has run on strong opposition to pornography and prostitution. In the 2006 Republican primary for Indiana's 2nd congressional district he attained 30% of the vote against Chris Chocola, who later lost to Joe Donnelly in the general election. Zirkle's license to practice law in Indiana was suspended in 2009 for multiple instances and types of misconduct, including counseling his client in a dissolution case on how to evade a court order not to remove the couple's children from the county, falsely telling the court that his client continued to reside in the county, and many instances of over-billing clients. Zirkle became eligible to apply for reinstatement in October 2011.
Zirkle was born Frederick Von Ness. Zirkle was a Seventh-day Adventist. He studied law at Indiana University (Bloomington). He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, and received a degree from Georgetown University.
2008 candidacy and controversy
In the 2008 election he garnered national attention by appearing at a Neo-Nazi celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday. He defended this by stating that he will speak to any group that asks and that the event was an opportunity to preach the gospel. He has previously made statements skeptical or critical of racial integration, suggesting that such a policy would not be outside of Republican tradition, "Abraham Lincoln called for African-Americans to be deported back to Africa." These elements led several local Republicans to call him "repugnant" or "backwards." He has allegedly received death threats over the controversy.
Zirkle has crusaded against pornography, which he believes to be a Jewish plot against women. "We now have a small army of male black porn stars that are sifting through five, ten, fifteen thousand women... One man can now genocide the wombs of thousands of women, infecting them with sexually transmitted diseases that leave them barren." He later finished third in the 2008 GOP congressional primary with Luke Puckett being the winner.
Law license suspension
On September 1, 2009, Zirkle's license to practice law was suspended by the state Supreme Court, which "found Zirkle engaged in eight counts of professional misconduct, including improper billing practices and charging clients for incompetent services." Zirkle said "that the charges against him were exaggerated or blatantly false." The suspension went into effect October 1, 2009.
- Adventist Political Hopeful Speaks to Neo-Nazi Group | Spectrum
- Fox News
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- By DUSTIN GROVE, WSBT-TV and NANCY J. SULOK, Tribune Staff Writer
- Tony Zirkle's website
- Washington Post
- Chicago Tribune/AP
- TonyZirkle.com, official website