The adult children of Steve West — a Republican candidate for the Missouri General Assembly — are urging voters to not elect their father.
Both Emily and Andrew West recently told the Kansas City Star that their dad was an anti-Semite, who if elected, would have his hateful views legitimized and possibly turned into policy.
“A lot of his views are just very out there,” Emily West told the Star. “He’s made multiple comments that are racist and homophobic and how he doesn’t like the Jews.”
“My dad’s a fanatic. He must be stopped,” Andrew West — who is the second of Steve West’s three children — told the paper on Tuesday. “His ideology is pure hatred. It’s totally insane.”
Andrew West noted that while his father condemned the recent attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his anti-Semitic remarks enflame the type of violence seen in Pittsburgh last weekend.
“[T]he terrorist that engaged in that synagogue shooting and my father have the same objective,” Andrew West said. “That objective is the removal of Jews from America. And certainly, if somebody who is already unstable gets the kind of message that he’s preaching, it’s all bad.”
After Missouri’s August primary, in which Steve West became the general election candidate after beating three others in the primary race for the seat in Missouri’s 15th District, the Star reported on West’s radio show in which he propagated conspiracy theories about “Jewish cabals,” once saying that “Hitler was right.” The candidate also has a YouTube channel in which he dons a wig and fake moustache, calling himself “Jack Justice.”
Aside from his children, West’s comments about Jews also drew condemnation from his own party.
“Steve West’s shocking and vile comments do not reflect the position of the Missouri Republican Party or indeed of any decent individual,” the Missouri GOP stated at the time. “West’s abhorrent rhetoric has absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican Party or anywhere. We wholeheartedly condemn his comments.”
To be fair, the problem of Missouri elected officials saying racist things on the radio isn’t exclusive to the Republican Party. The Missouri Democratic Party asked Rep. Bob Burns (D) to resign in April after it was discovered that he was a regular caller into a racist St. Louis-area radio program in which the host repeatedly used the n-word on the air. As of this writing, Burns is still in the legislature.
Steve West isn’t the only GOP candidate to have his family campaign against him. In September, the siblings of Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) recorded a campaign ad in which they all criticized their brother for neglecting rural Arizonans in his district, and endorsed his Democratic opponent, David Brill.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.