(DIXMOOR, Ill.) — As many a Thanksgiving dinner has proved, talking politics with your family can get ugly. Imagine then, what it’s like in the Casey family, where a mother is battling her son in the maoyr’s race.
Wendy Casey, 45, and her son Randall Casey, 27, are both trying to get elected mayor of Dixmoor, Illinois. The fight is a source of tension in the Casey family.
Ahead of the April 9 election, Wendy Casey urged her son, a technician for Comcast, not to run for mayor, but he refused to step aside.
“On one hand, I’m proud of him for running for elected office,” she said. “But on the other hand, I think he should have waited. It’s disrespectful of him. It’s like a defiance on his part. Certain lines you just don’t cross.”
“We’re cordial, but we don’t speak about politics,” Casey continued. “It has been very hard for me as his parent and his mom because we do have a close relationship.”
At one point, she broke down in tears when talking about the strain that the election battle is taking on her family.
While Wendy Casey initially believed that her son would agree to a joint interview at the family’s house, he backed out, claiming that the family feud had become “a charade.”
“My 15 minutes of fame won’t help the people of Dixmoor,” Randall Casey said over the phone.
Many residents of Dixmoor view the family feud as a distraction from the real issues, and likely a moot point, as incumbent mayor Keevan Grimmett is expected to win reelection.
“As a voter, it’s confusing,” said Fitzgerald Roberts, a Dixmoor resident. “Why would they run against each other? I tried to talk to [Randall] and get him to let his mom run. It’s all about respect.”
Wendy Casey’s ex-husband and Randall Casey’s father, the Rev. Donald Luster, won the town’s mayoral election in 2001, but he was soon indicted on fraud charges. It is a subject that Wendy Casey does not want to talk about.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN
Jose Pagliery, CNN