Bernie Sanders On Not Endorsing His Son: 'In Our Family, We Do Not Believe in Dynastic Politics'

Sen. Bernie Sanders / Getty Images
June 7, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has been active in a number of races this midterm election cycle, but he has stayed notably quiet when it comes to the campaign of his son, Levi Sanders.

The senator has aggressively backing candidates for Congress in Iowa and Pennsylvania, and supported a mayoral candidate in Omaha, but he is not formally endorsing his son Levi Sanders for the Democratic primary in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. He has instead stuck to praising Levi Sanders in a short statement for the candidate's positions on raising the minimum wage, rebuilding infrastructure, and free college, the Boston Globe reports.

"Levi has spent his life in service to low income and working families, and I am very proud of all that he has done," he said. "In our family, however, we do not believe in dynastic politics. Levi is running his own campaign in his own way."

New Hampshire observers speculate the Vermont senator has not weighed in on his son's bid because the younger Sanders is running what most in the state consider to be an "inept" campaign and the senator does not want damage a potential 2020 campaign of his own.

That explanation is boosted by the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial primary, where the Bernie Sanders-inspired group Our Revolution endorsed progressive firebrand Dennis Kucinich over the Obama administration alum Richard Cordray, whereas Sanders made no endorsement. Cordray ended up easily defeating Kucinich for the nomination.

Levi Sanders, who has caught some flak from Granite State residents for running in the state's 1st District when he lives in the 2nd, is a lower tier candidate in a competitive primary and is not expected to win the Democratic nomination. Former New Hampshire state senator Burt Cohen said he barely hears anyone even consider Sanders as an option.

"If Levi thought he could just transfer the enthusiasm from his father to himself, well he is learning that is just not happening at all," Cohen said.