Politics

Bernie Sanders’ Son Weighing House Run in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Democrats conflicted over ‘carpetbagger’

Levi Sanders, right, arrived with Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane Sanders at a primary night rally in Essex Junction, Vermont. in 2016. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP file photo)

Levi Sanders, son of 2016 presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is considering a run in New Hampshire's First District.

“Oh, absolutely. I’m definitely considering it. I’m excited, motivated and interested in the race,” Sanders told Vice News Thursday. “I’m just dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s.”

Sanders is his father’s only biological child, and apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He plans to run on a super-progressive platform — Medicare for all and free college tuition — in a state his father won over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, 60.4 to 38 percent.

“The basic difference is that I’m a vegetarian and he’s not,” the younger Sanders said.

One wrinkle in Sanders’ candidacy is that he does not live in the district where four-term Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is retiring next January. He instead lives in New Hampshire’s Second District, a seat Rep. Ann McLane Kuster has held since 2013.

“I don’t know why he wouldn’t run in his own district.” state Rep. Mindi Messmer, a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 and a candidate in the 1st District Democratic primary, told WMUR of Levi Sanders.

The U.S. Constitution requires House candidates to live in the state in which they’re running for office but not necessarily the congressional district.

“I just think that New Hampshire people, people in this district, will ultimately make the decision, and I continue to work on helping the people of my district,” Messmer said.

Six Democratic candidates have filed their Federal Elections Commission papers for the race. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates New Hampshire's First District race Tilt Democratic.

Some Democrats in the state have signaled they are annoyed that Sanders is considering running for the open First District seat.

“I’m not sure we need to have another candidate parachute into the 1st District to compete for the carpetbagger appeal,” state Rep. Renny Cushing, a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, told WMUR.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.