Twin Sisters Run for Office In Michigan; One a Democrat and the Other a Trump-Supporting Republican
Twins sisters Monica Sparks and Jessica Ann Tyson are identical in nearly every way, finishing each other’s sentences and even color-coordinating their wardrobes. That’s where their similarities end, however.
Sparks is a Democrat. Meanwhile, Tyson is a Republican who supports President Donald Trump. Both are running for local office in neighboring districts in Kent County, Mich. The 46-year-old sisters insist their opposing political views haven’t impacted their unbreakable family bond, however. They said their relationship is proof that people can overcome their differences.
“It just baffles our mind why people hate each other,’ Tyson told the Agence France Presse in a joint interview with her sister. “Mothers aren’t talking to sons. Fathers are disowning daughters.”
“We’re not going to let this come between our family,” Sparks chimed in.
According to CBS News, the sisters said they felt called to serve after suffering a difficult childhood marred by addiction and abuse. Sparks and Tyson were born to a heroin-addicted mother and placed into the foster care system where they were abused “emotionally, physically and sexually.” The duo said they relied on each other through the tough times.
“We had one mattress we slept on,” Tyson recalled. ” … I remember we would have to decide like who would try to get the cereal on top of the refrigerator. So now you’re going into the night, and then you wake up, and you still can’t get that box of cereal. So Monica would go out and she would look in trash cans.”
At age 8, the twins were adopted by a loving family who taught them to embrace their individuality but also find common ground. Most importantly, home was where Sparks and Tyson found their love for serving others.
The sisters now hope to serve their community in a political capacity.
Sparks and Tyson reside in neighboring electoral districts in Michigan and are gunning for a seat on the commissioner’s board that governs Kent County, AFP reported. The county is state’s second-most populated area, after Detroit, and is home to about 640,000 residents.
Sparks is facing several Democratic opponents, while Tyson is running unchallenged as a Republican. If both win, they’ll be serving side by side on the board.
Sparks recalled the moment her sister told their dad she was running as a Republican.
” … Our dad said, ‘You gotta be cotton pickin’ kiddin’ me,’ ” she told CBS News. “I mean, he almost fell off his chair and it’s funny because I say I stand with the Democratic Party for civil rights, liberty, justice for all, equality and equity, and [Jessica] says the same thing about the Republican Party. … So I think we just see through a different lens.”
At the end of the day, the sisters said they have a common goal: serving the people. Both admitted to endorsing each other’s opponents but said family is always what matters most.
“I celebrate her as a woman, and all of the accomplishments that she has made,” Tyson said of her sister. “And no amount of winning or losing, or politics, will stop the love that I have for her.”
“We’re not gonna agree on 100 percent of everything,” Sparks added. “But if we can find 50 percent, 60 percent … to agree on, then let’s work on those things that we can agree on and then we’ll try to figure out the rest later.”
The primary election takes place Aug. 7.