Congressional legacies

2010 field crowded with political progeny

By Laurie Bennett

September 1, 2010 at 11:22am

How much value does the family name carry in this year’s elections?

The defeat of Lisa Murkowski shows that a well-known surname doesn’t guarantee victory.

Murkowski, daughter of Frank Murkowski, a four-term senator and one-term governor from Alaska, lost to an unknown who had the imprimatur of a more popular brand - Sarah Palin.

Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski

In other parts of the country, political offspring have had better results.

Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, won the Republican primary for U.S. senator from Kentucky.

In Arizona, Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, won a GOP primary for Congress despite several advertising trip-ups. (A campaign mailer promoting family values neglected to mention that the two little girls in the photo were not his. Quayle and his wife have no children.)

In New York, Andrew Cuomo, son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is a favorite for his father’s former office. On Long Island, Christopher Nixon Cox, grandson of Richard M. Nixon, is seeking the GOP nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

Another closely watched race in New York has Adam Clayton Powell IV challenging Charlie Rangel for the congressional seat Rangel took from Powell’s father.

Two political dynasties are on the campaign trail in Missouri. Republican congressman Roy Blunt, son of a state legislator and father of a former governor, is seeking re-election. His opponent is Robin Carnahan, Missouri secretary of state and granddaughter of a congressman. Her father, Mel Carnahan, was governor and was campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2000, when he was killed in a plane crash. He was elected posthumously and his spouse, Robin Carnahan’s mother, Jean, was named to the seat.

At the state level Jason Carter, grandson of Jimmy, won a Georgia state Senate seat three months ago.

Among the losers: Paul Thurmond, son of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, lost a bid this year for the GOP nomination for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district. Ethan Hastert, son of former House speaker Dennis Hastert, lost an Illinois GOP congressional primary.

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  • #1.   libhomo 09.05.2010

    I wonder if Ben Quayle’s involvement in a porno blog will cost him the election. Talk about another hypocritical “family values” politician.

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