The voters of Vermont and New Hampshire could be getting a whole lot more helpings of the Bernie Sanders family. Sanders’ step-daughter, Carina Driscoll, could become the next Mayor of Burlington, and his son Levi Sanders is throwing his hat in the ring for Congress to represent the 1st District in New Hampshire. Bernie is running again for reelection in Vermont and could run for president in 2020.
Can you see the family resemblance in this photo of Levi, pronounced LEH-vee, and Bernie? If not, you might need your own set of squared-off glasses.
Watching them on video is amusing too because Levi really does take after his father in mannerisms and appearance. (see video below)
His mother is Sanders’ former girlfriend, Susan Campbell Mott.
The bunny ears had to come out after he defeated me in chess. pic.twitter.com/T98bTyXBD5
— Levi Sanders (@Celentra) September 11, 2017
Levi refers to his dad as “Bernard,” and has never called him Dad, seeing him as a friend instead of an “authoritarian.”
“When I was a little kid, I started with B. Then it was Ber and then Bern and now it’s Bernard. Or the Bernster. I’ve never called him Bernie. And I never have called him Dad,” said Levi.
Levi, 48, decided to run for the seat that Democratic Carol Shea-Porter will be leaving upon retirement. He will be joined by seven other Democrats vying for the position. He’s a Democrat, unlike his independent father who ran as a Democrat in the 2016 presidential election.
Levi’s positions appear to match Bernie’s “democratic socialist” positions, such as proposing “Medicare For All,” raising the minimum wage, “sensible gun legislation,” and tuition-free college. That makes sense since he worked as a strategist for Bernie’s presidential run.
His recent statement sounds like it might have come from Bernie:
“For over 17 years, I have represented the working class who have been beaten up by the system,” his statement reads. “It is time to demand that we have a system which represents the 99% and not the 1% who have never had it so good.”
Levi’s qualifications include experience as a senior legal analyst and a specialist in Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Benefits. He’s lived in New Hampshire for 15 years with his family.
Levi’s Twitter account is receiving a lot of attention, and not in a good way. He appears to have entered the race for Congress without cleaning up past posts, and screenshots of those posts have raised questions and criticisms.
This thread should sum it up:
Expecting that a woman be the keynote speaker at a women's march event is, somehow, alienating the working class. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ti1CvYbgXw
— Aphra Behn (@Shaker_aphra) February 27, 2018
Another family member, Carina Driscoll will run for the office that Bernie once held forty years ago, mayor of Burlington, Vermont. She will challenge the incumbent Democratic Mayor Miro Weinberger. She is a former city council member and state legislator who runs Vermont Woodworking School.
She doesn’t shy away from association with Bernie, though she wants to stand on her own merits as well:
‘‘Being Bernie’s daughter is one small piece, but it’s an important piece because it helps people understand the vision for Burlington that I’m talking about,’’ she told The Associated Press. ‘‘I am very committed to these values and ideals of a progressive city and we have drifted far too far from that. For me, it was a choice of quietly letting that continue or turning us around. And that is what I’m trying to do.’’
Carina is running on a platform of affordable childcare, transportation, and housing, public engagement, fiscal responsibility, and listening to citizens instead of private interests.
Like her step-brother, Carina faces her own controversy. Jillian Kay Melchior, from The Wall Street Journal, shared her take on the conflict related to Burlington College.
Bernie's stepdaughter is running for office, but she's tied up in the whole Burlington College scandal. When her mom, Jane, was president, the college paid Carina Driscoll's woodworking school over $500k. Later president called it "a sweetheart deal." https://t.co/9dsSJnMLie
— Jillian Kay Melchior (@JillianKayM) February 26, 2018
Regardless of this controversy, Driscoll has been endorsed by the Burlington City Employees Union, and the Progressive Party.
— MyNBC5 (WPTZ) (@MyNBC5) February 15, 2018
The mayoral election in Burlington will be held March 6, Town Meeting Day.
Will the voters in New Hampshire and Vermont vote for Bernie’s family members? If they are anything at all like their father, which they certainly appear to be, they will be a big threat for conservative Republicans, despite their tendency to latch onto the word “socialism” anytime Bernie Sanders is mentioned.
Bernie Sanders has a long history with Vermont politics and is beloved in the region for his populist agenda.
See more about Levi Sanders below:
See more about Carina Driscoll below:
Now watch Levi and Bernie together: