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Republican candidate’s children urge people not to vote for their father

Republican candidate’s children urge people not to vote for their father

A Republican candidate in Missouri suffered a blow as election day approached, losing the backing of two key supporters: his son and daughter.
“I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” Emily West told the Kansas City Star this week about her father, Steve West, who is running for the state general assembly in the 15th district.
She added: “A lot of his views are just very out there. He’s made multiple comments that are racist and homophobic and how he doesn’t like the Jews.”
Her brother, Andy West, told the same paper: “My dad’s a fanatic. He must be stopped. His ideology is pure hatred. It’s totally insane.
“If he gets elected, it would legitimize him. Then he would become a state official, and he’s saying that Jews shouldn’t even have civil rights.”
Steve West, 64, has broadcast his thoughts on KCXL radio, on a website and on YouTube, under the name “Jack Justice”. Antisemitic and otherwise offensive comments came to light after he easily won a Republican primary in August.
As well as saying “unfortunately, Hitler was right about what was taking place in Germany, and who was behind it”, West has claimed homosexuality and paedophilia to be “absolutely linked” and called women’s athletics a “haven and breeding ground for lesbianism”.
The Missouri Republican party has condemned such comments as “shocking and vile” and said such “abhorrent rhetoric has absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican party or anywhere”.
West has said his remarks have been taken out of context.
His children spoke to the media days after 11 people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue by a gunman who, according to federal documents, shouted antisemitic remarks.
Speaking to the Star, Steve West said: “I absolutely renounce what took place there. I have never, never suggested anything like that. When stuff like that happens, it is a terrible travesty and injustice. I would never condone any violence against any people because of a specific race or religion or anything else.”
West insisted he was “absolutely not antisemitic”.
He added: “I subscribe to our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal … I look at ideologies and I object to things on principle. It has nothing to do with skin colour or race.
“Some of the issues I discuss are hard-hitting. All of my shows are well-documented. At the end of every show, I call everyone to Christ and Christianity, because that’s the only answer.”
His opponent, the Democrat Jon Carpenter, told the Star he was “deeply disturbed” and added: “It’s my hope that the voters of the 15th district overwhelmingly reject that kind of bigotry on election day.”
In 2012, the last time Carpenter faced a Republican opponent, he won by a little more than 2,000 votes.
In August, responding to West’s primary win, Karen Aroesty, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said she was “trying to get sense of why he flew under the radar, and I’m not sure I have a great answer. What is a person who is elected into a position of power going to do with beliefs like this?”
This week, Aroesty told the Star “people are going to have to make that choice” between West and Carpenter.
West is not the first Republican midterms candidate to lose the support of relatives.
In Nevada, 12 family members of Adam Laxalt, the GOP candidate for governor, opposed him in a newspaper column. In response, 22 others backed him. He is in a tight race with the Democrat Steve Sisolak.
In Arizona, a group of siblings of US representative Paul Gosar recorded an attack ad against him. His mother stood by him and he remains on course to win easily.
In a Wisconsin US House race, meanwhile, the Democrat Randy “Iron Stache” Bryce saw his brother record an attack ad against him. Their mother asked for it to be pulled.