Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has become an icon amongst the progressive left and recently Democrats who align themselves with his star power tend to gain support amongst the liberal base. But, Sanders has been historically frugal with endorsements and that trend continues as we gear up for 2018 midterms. However, as the Associated Press reports, few would have predicted Sen. Sanders would refuse to endorse his own flesh and blood.
Sanders has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for not publicly endorsing his son, Levi, in his race for a New Hampshire congressional seat. But people who know him say Sanders, a potential top-tier contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, has always been stingy with endorsements and that parsimoniousness is extending to his own family.
Going back to the mid-1980s, when Sanders declined to do more to help what has evolved into Vermont's Progressive Party, to last winter when Sanders declined to help his step-daughter run for the mayor's office he once held, Sanders has frustrated many by his refusal to help.
But that took on additional weight when it was noticed that, despite his crisscrossing the country endorsing liberal candidates, Sanders has declined to get actively involved in his 49-year-old son's race. Levi Sanders, a legal services analyst, is now one of 11 seeking the Democratic nomination to fill the seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
Sanders the younger could use help from his father, too. Levi Sanders is struggling to grain traction amongst New Hampshire voters with his far-left platform.
Levi Sanders is portraying himself as a progressive campaigning for tuition-free college, health care for all and sensible gun legislation. The first two issues were central to his father's latest presidential campaign.
But his campaign has struggled to gain traction, partly due to a crowded field for the Sept. 11 primary. Levi Sanders has only raised about $11,500 through March, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
When asked about his refusal to enter the campaign on behalf of his offspring, Sen. Sanders said he was not a fan of "dynastic politics," adding, that his son is "on his own."