Texas Democrat MJ Hegar's bid to unseat Republican incumbent senator John Cornyn will be without the support of her own mother-in-law, who says she would "never vote" for Hegar because "she is not a good person."
Patricia Heiman, the mother of Hegar's husband Stephen Hegar, took to Facebook in the race's final weeks to warn voters against supporting the Democratic Senate candidate, specifically pointing to Hegar's failure to lend a helping hand to her three step-children after their home was burned down in a fire earlier this year.
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"I know her personally and she is not a good person," Heiman wrote. "I know that sounds like a spiteful mother-in-law but I speak on behalf of my son's three other children that they do not see."
Heiman wrote that Hegar and her own son took no action to help her three grandchildren after a fire burned down their home along with all their belongings in January. "His other children's house burned to the ground last January," Heiman wrote. "And they gave nothing, I mean nothing to help them out. MJ is only in it for herself. If she can't help her stepchildren's situation out, how do you think she's going to help Texans out."
The Washington Free Beacon was able to confirm Heiman's relationship to Hegar, as well as the fire that burned down the house of Hegar's three step-children and her husband's first wife. A GoFundMe page created for the family says the fire took the home, both the family's cars, and left the children with only the clothes they were wearing when they evacuated the house. The oldest of the three step-children posted pictures on the destruction caused by the fire on Jan. 7, and asked friends to help her family with gift cards for groceries and blankets.
Heiman declined to discuss her relationship with Hegar on the record, for fear of repercussions to her grandchildren. Hegar's campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Hegar married her husband in 2011, and the couple now has two children of their own in addition to the three he had from the previous marriage. Marcy Pike, Stephen Hegar's first wife, confirmed to the Free Beacon that they received "no help" from the Hegars after the fire.
"They didn't say let me take the kids for a weekend and give you a break while you get things together," Pike said.
Pike said her ex-husband and Hegar got married shortly after the divorce, and in the years since took her to court seeking full custody of the children. Now, they don't even take the visitation they're legally entitled to.
"I don't understand how anybody wouldn't want to be a part of their lives, they're great kids," she said. "But to me, the more they stay out of our lives the easier it is."
"[MJ Hegar] is a strong personality, it's either her way or the highway, and if it's not her way she has no use for you," she added. "Had she not been around, my kids would still have a dad."
Hegar shot to prominence in 2018 with an ad on her life story that garnered praise from superstar playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and earned millions of views on YouTube. She ultimately lost her congressional bid that year, but used the attention to shoot to the top of the Democratic primary for the seat in the U.S. Senate up for grabs this year. Polls show her solidly behind Cornyn, who has held the seat since 2002, but Democrats are spending millions in the state in hopes they can capture a seat in the Republican stronghold on Nov. 4.
Pike said she would "absolutely not" be voting for Hegar, despite her politics. "It's not political, it's personal," Pike said. "I wish there were a Democrat I could vote for."