By Chris White
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s son lost his congressional bid Tuesday after his father refused to endorse his candidacy or provide him with resources necessary to compete in New Hampshire.
Levi Sanders received only 1.8 percent of the vote in the Granite State’s primary election, losing to Executive Council Chris Pappas. Levi faced an uphill battle after he managed to cobble together less than $40,000 in donations, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. Pappas, raised more than $820,000 by August 22.
“My father doesn’t believe in nepotism so I may not have his official endorsement, but I am humbled to have his support,” Levi wrote in an Aug. 31 post on his campaign’s Facebook page.
Levi’s best day on the campaign trail was his first, according to Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.
“The Sanders name doesn’t do him a lot of good without his dad’s fundraising network to fund him,” Scala told ABC reporters Tuesday. “And he lives far outside the district, and that hurts as one might expect.”
Levi was contending with the likes of Pappas and former Obama administration official Maura Sullivan, both of whom led a crowded field of 11 Democrats. The younger Sanders had trouble making a mark in the district despite promising not to vote for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as House speaker should the Democrats take the House.
Pappas is openly gay and a former state lawmaker who is serving his third term on the governor’s Executive Council. He has the backing of the state’s two Democratic senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and has strong financial backing from many inside New Hampshire.
Sanders, an independent who ran unsuccessfuly for president in 2016, endorsed several candidates this campaign season. He backed Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin re-election bid in July and Randy Bryce’s bid to replace Republican Speaker Paul Ryan in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
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