Missouri Republican slammed as 'homophobic' by his kids loses election
Steve West’s local race made national headlines when his own children came out publicly and urged voters to reject him.
By Tim Fitzsimons
Republican candidate Steve West was defeated in the race for Missouri's 15th District. With all precincts reporting, West lost to incumbent Democrat Rep. Jon Carpenter by nearly 30 percentage points, according to the state's election website.
“I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” Steve West’s daughter Emily told The Kansas City Star. “He’s made multiple comments that are racist and homophobic and how he doesn’t like the Jews.”
Steve West’s son, Andy, contacted the paper one week before Election Day with a similar message about his “fanatic” father.
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“He must be stopped,” Andy West said. “His ideology is pure hatred.”
In a 30-minute interview with NBC News last week, West claimed not to be homophobic, racist or anti-Semitic. However, he then proceeded to reiterate some of his most outlandish claims.
When it comes to LGBTQ people, he doubled down on a previous claim that women’s athletics are a “breeding ground for lesbianism.” He also claimed that homosexuality and pedophilia indeed “go hand in hand.”
“The homosexual world, they are by much greater percent predators — especially when it comes to boys,” he told NBC News. When asked for evidence to back these claims, he said to look up the work of Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative gay provocateur who was fired from Breitbart after video was uncovered of him making sympathetic comments about child-adult sexual relationships.
The state’s Republican party disavowed West prior to the election, saying, they rejected his "abhorrent" rhetoric and that West has "absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican Party or anywhere.”
In a statement posted on West’s campaign website after news about his family feud broke, West wrote “I recognize Islam is a problem for America,” and doubled down on criticism of Israel.
Steph Perkins, interim director of PROMO, a Missouri LGBTQ advocacy group, said his organization is "grateful that the voters in Missouri's 15th district re-elected Rep. Jon Carpenter."
"Rep. Carpenter is a reflection of Missouri at its best, a Missouri where we care for one another, honor our differences, and are an ally to our LGBTQ neighbors who face discrimination," Perkins told NBC News in an email.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday after the results were announced, West said, "I was disappointed, but that's okay; a lot of Republicans lost last night. It is what it is."
"I'm fine," he added. "I'm going to go back to work."