Identical twin sisters are running for office: One is a Trump supporter, the other is not

Jessica Ann Tyson and Monica Sparks are identical in almost every way — except for when it comes to politics.

Monica Sparks Jessica Ann Tyson
Monica Sparks and Jessica Ann Tyson are identical twins both running for local office in Michigan. (Courtesy of Monica Sparks and Jessica Ann Tyson)

Jessica Ann Tyson and Monica Sparks are identical in almost every way — except for when it comes to politics.

The twin sisters are so close they often wear matching outfits and even finish each other’s sentences. Their choice in colors, however, have started to differ as each sister is running for local office in Michigan, choosing fashion accessories that hint to their drastically different allegiances.

You see Sparks, who is a Democrat prefers to sport a blue flower pin, while Tyson, who is a Republican, prefers to wear a red one.

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The women believe they are a perfect example of how you can love and co-exist with someone across the political aisle even in this increasingly polarized climate.

“It just baffles our mind why people hate each other,” Tyson tells AFP in a joint interview with her sister. “Mothers aren’t talking to sons. Fathers are disowning daughters.”

“We are not going to let this come between our family,” says Sparks.

Tyson and Sparks live in neighboring electoral districts in what was traditionally part of the country’s Democratic Rust Belt, but against all odds, helped Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Tyson, who is a Trump supporter, says she believes in the president, but can understand her sister’s concerns (and others who oppose Trump) about his presidency.

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A difficult start

Born in 1972 to a heroin-addicted mother, Sparks says they were sent to a terrible foster home at the age of five where they were abused “emotionally, physically, sexually.”

“We went through a lot of abuse together,” shared Tyson  who remembers her sister rummaging through trash cans looking for food. “And together we got through.”

The girls were eventually adopted by loving parents, who instilled in them a sense of civic duty.

While their disagreements over President Donald Trump has often been the cause for spirited debate, it never left a rift between them. Their bond was tested though when Tyson endorsed the Republican running in Sparks’s district, instead of her own twin sister, but they were able to get over that hurdle.

“I celebrate her as a woman, and all of the accomplishments that she has made,” Tyson says of her sister. “And no amount of winning or losing, or politics, will stop the love that I have for her.”

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They’re both currently campaigning for a seat on the governing board that oversees Kent County, which is home to 640,000 people and is the state’s second most populous area behind Detroit.

While the women may be fighting for different parties, they say they agree on broader topics and believe their purpose is to live a life of service and reduce the political animosity that has taken over the country.

Sparks faces several Democratic opponents in her race, while Tyson is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

The primary election is on August 7.