A Michigan GOP candidate's daughter begged voters online not to vote for her father — he blamed the disagreement on her 'liberal university'

horecchio@businessinsider.com (Haven Orecchio-Egresitz)
·6 min read
Michigan Primary March 2020
Michigan Primary March 2020

Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images

  • Stephanie Regan, the daughter of a Republican candidate running to represent the 73rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives, has gone viral after urging voters not to elect her father. 

  • In a tweet posted on Tuesday, she implored everyone "18+" in Michigan not to vote for Robert Regan "for the love of god."

  • In just three days, the tweet has received hundreds of thousands of likes.

  • On Thursday, Robert Regan responded with a statement posted to Facebook, in which he said he encouraged his children to voice their opinions and "seek truth."

  • In an interview with The Hill, Regan said that his daughter's anti-endorsement did not come as a surprise, as the two clash over political philosophy and their beliefs regarding systemic racism. 

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The daughter of a Republican candidate running for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives has gone viral on Twitter after imploring Michigan voters not to elect her father. 

"[I]f you're in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. tell everyone," Stephanie Regan tweeted on Tuesday, referring to Robert Regan, who is one of three Republicans running to represent the 73rd District in the Michigan state House. 

 

In less than 72 hours, the tweet has received over 180,000 likes and racked up hundreds of comments from supporters thanking her for her transparency and "service" to the state.  

On Wednesday, Regan posted a follow-up tweet in which she identified her father specifically. While she declined to offer specifics on his policies, citing her own safety as a concern, she urged voters to "look up information" regarding his political stances.

Robert Regan is considered to be the most conservative of the three Republicans running, and his Twitter account features several retweets expressing support for police amid nationwide protests surrounding the death of George Floyd. He has also retweeted posts labeling the Black Lives Matter movement as a "Marxist" organization. 

The following day, Stephanie Regan posted again, thanking commenters for their support, adding that she assumed her tweet would not reach anyone beyond her "hometown friends." She concluded by urging people to "READ" and "GOOGLE" rather than voting for a "familiar name" on the ballot. 

Robert Regan issued a statement supporting his daughter's right to share her views.  

On Thursday evening, Robert Regan responded to his daughter's anti-endorsement with a statement posted to Facebook.

"I am happy that she feels confident enough in our relationship to express her opposing thoughts so publicly," the statement read. " The 1st Amendment is foundational to our republic, which not only requires, but should encourage, all perspectives to be expressed without using guilt, obligation or shame to manipulate people."

Regan added that he encouraged his children to "seek truth" and urged his constituents to also ask themselves tough questions and use "logic and reason to guide emotions."

In conclusion, he said that his "door is open" to his children and his phone is "available to them anytime."

The post was accompanied by a link to donate to Regan's campaign. 

Regan says that the anti-endorsement follows a longstanding difference of opinion between him and his daughter.

On Thursday, Regan told The Hill that his daughter's tweet reflected their differing thoughts on an array of political issues. He also pointed to her college education as a potential reason behind her liberal viewpoints. 

"A lot of students when they go off to these liberal university campuses, like the University of Colorado, the University of Texas and Austin — and she went to the University of Colorado in Boulder — and you know, they just kind of get sucked into this Marxist, communist ideology and she and I just don't see eye to eye when it comes to the whole socialism, communism, Marxist philosophy," he told the outlet.

A core disagreement the pair had was over the idea of systemic racism, Regan claimed. 

"Her big thing has to do with the systemic racism that's going on in the country," he said, later adding, "The only place where I really see systemic racism would be the abortion clinic cause they seem to target the African American community." According to the Guttmacher Institute, the idea that abortion clinics target Black people is based on the false assumption that most abortion providers are located in minority neighborhoods.  

Regan also told the outlet that he doesn't "buy into this whole systemic racism thing at all," an idea that's been backed by significant statistics, and said that "we all have hurdles to overcome," citing his experience as a "quote-unquote rich, white, Christian male" as being difficult due to the "not always good" perceptions people hold of white men. 

Regan later told the outlet that he believes that President Trump has done "more for the black community than any president we've had in the last 20 years." According to The New York Times, numerous scholars point to President Lyndon B. Johnson as the president that has arguably accomplished the most for the Black community. 

Another disagreement likely prompting the tweet, Regan explained, is the father and daughter's clashing opinions on the existence of white privilege. While his daughter recently sent him an article about the topic, he said, he found "no scientific data behind it." Despite the claim, there have been studies showing numerous quantifiable advantages given to white people in society, such as leeway given to white bus passengers that was observed in a 2014 Yale study.

While the two have not spoken since the tweets went viral, Regan told The Hill that he's "happy that she's willing to speak out and express her opinion on things." 

The Republican primary in Michigan takes place on August 4. 

Stephanie and Robert Regan did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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