Families play out the U.S. political divide

Representative Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, speaks during a 'Road
Representative Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, speaks during a 'Road To Victory' bus tour stop with Kelli Ward, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona at the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona on Aug. 24, 2018. Copyright Caitlin O'Hara Bloomberg via Getty Images file
Copyright Caitlin O'Hara Bloomberg via Getty Images file
By Dennis Romero and Phil McCausland with NBC News U.S. News
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The Arizona political feud shines a light on similar family disputes heating up across the nation.


New opposition campaign advertisements featuring six siblings speaking out against the reelection of their brother, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., have exposed the sting of familial political disputes that seems to have heated up under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

In one video, his brother David Gosar says, "We gotta stand up for our good name. This is not who we are."

The sting is one the Gosar family and countless others have experienced in the Trump era as a nation redefines the scope of what's fair game in politics.

"The moral and ethics of these siblings have trumped, so to speak, what would normally be the loyalty of a family, and that's something to be applauded in the hopes that this will spread across America so that we know the answer to the question, 'What is America gonna stand for?'" said political strategist Peter Emerson.

Last year, seven of the 10 Gosar siblings wrote a letter to the Kingman Daily Miner newspaper in Kingman, Arizona, to say they were "aghast" with the congressman's embrace of a conspiracy theory that liberal financier George Soros, who survived the Holocaust, collaborated with Nazis.

In August, a generational conflict erupted when the son of retiring chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., tweeted, "I just gave the maximum allowed donation" to Jennifer Lewis, a Democrat running for the congressman's seat.

Bobby Goodlatte, a Silicon Valley investor, followed up with a tweet the next day criticizing his father's role in the firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok.

"I'm deeply embarrassed that Peter Strzok's career was ruined by my father's political grandstanding," he wrote.

In Newport, R.I., a father and son have taken their differing views on Donald Trump to the campaign trailby filing to run against each other for a congressional seat. David Quiroa Sr., 47, is running as a Republican, and David Quiroa Jr., 22, is running as an independent. They live under the same roof.

Wisconsin's Kevin Nicholson, who's running for U.S. Senate, lashed out at his parents in a July opinion piece published by Fox News. Michael and Donna Nicholson each gave the most they could legally—$2,700—to his Democratic opponent, Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

The candidate called the donations "an intentional personal blow that made headlines across the country."

In a statement Saturday, Paul Gosar criticized his siblings—all of whom he says live outside Arizona—for using "family political differences to launch attacks on me rather than focusing on the issues."

He wrapped up his statement with a promise to unite, if only physically, with his brothers and sisters: "To the six angry Democrat Gosars—see you at Mom and Dad's house!"

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