As the American midterm elections are fast approaching — Election Day is Nov. 6 — politicians of all parties and policies are pushing their constituents to hand over votes. They’re all hungry to secure positions in local, state and national elections, during a time when the country’s future has never seemed in such dire straits.
And while you’d think the families of any candidate, whether conservative or liberal, would be surefire support during the U.S. midterm elections … well, that’s not always the case.
Here are 3 candidates who won’t get their own families’ votes in the U.S. midterm elections:
1. Brian Kemp, running for Georgia Governor (R)
Politician Brian Kemp is running as the Republican candidate for the next governor of Georgia (he’s currently Georgia’s secretary of state), but one vote he most assuredly can’t count on is that of his niece, Caty Cowsert.
The 25-year-old spoke to Vice in early October, saying that as a queer woman she wouldn’t be voting for her uncle, who opposes LGBTQ rights and is a staunch Trump backer. “There’s family behind politics, but politics is not always about supporting your family,” Cowsert says. “And sometimes, your family doesn’t support you, but you know they love you. You just have to find the politician that supports you.”
Who is getting Kemp’s niece’s vote? Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, who would be the state of Georgia’s very first Black female governor. “I can’t wait until she’s our governor,” Cowsert has said on social media. “Georgia needs more compassionate and intelligent politicians.”
2. Paul Gosar, running for U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona (R)
Not one, not two, but six siblings of Republican candidate for Arizona’s 4th district Paul Gosar have come out in support of his opponent, David Brill. And perhaps worst of all, they do so in a political ad for their oldest brother’s opponent. Ouch.
In the ad, Gosar’s siblings Grace, David, Jennifer, Tim, Joan and Gaston disagree with his stances on Social Security, health care and more. “Paul’s absolutely not working for his district,” brother David says. Check out the ad below:
To say the least, Paul Gosar didn’t take the ad particularly well. He said of his siblings, “like leftists everywhere, they put political ideology before family” before comparing them to Lenin, Mao and Kim Jong Un — brutal dictators who he said “would be proud” of them.
“To the six angry Democrat Gosars — see you at Mom and Dad’s house!” he said.
In Gosar’s siblings’ defense, their older brother does hold quite a few troubling views. He has said last year’s Charlottesville white supremacy rally was financed by Democratic mega-donor George Soros, has supported anti-Muslim activism in London and is an opponent of legal rights for immigrants.
3. Randy Bryce, running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wisconsin (D)
Randy Bryce, a Democrat running for the Wisconsin seat being vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan, clearly has a contentious relationship with his brother James. Not only did James also consider running for that very same House seat, but he also appears in an ad for Randy’s GOP competitor, Bryan Steil (who Paul Ryan also happens to endorse).
James, a police officer, claims Randy Bryce has incited violence against law enforcement on social media by contributing to “cop-hating rhetoric.”
Randy Bryce is running on a platform that includes Medicare for all U.S. citizens, and he’s currently one of 33 candidates the Democrats are hoping can help flip formerly GOP-held seats in the House of Representatives.
4. Steve West, running for state House of Representatives in Missouri (R)
Emily West’s dad, a Republican, is running for state office in Missouri, but he won’t have her vote on Nov. 6, she says. “I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” she told the Kansas City Star earlier this week.
She told the newspaper that seeing Steve West’s potential constituents putting out signs with her dad’s name is what set her off. “I think it’s just insane that people are putting out his signs. I don’t understand how people can put out his signs knowing the comments that he’s made.”
Among those comments are racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Islam and homophobic things, including one comment from back when he was a radio host in which he defended Hitler. The state’s Republican Party has since denounced West’s controversial comments.
West maintains that his daughter’s opinions of him are unsubstantiated. “I have a good reputation,” he has said. “These people are trying to paint me as some monster.”