Larry Sanders, a former Green councillor, will attempt to overturn a 22,700 Tory majority in Witney, Oxfordshire
Larry Sanders, the older brother of Democrat politician Bernie Sanders, is hoping to emulate his siblings success by standing for the Green party in David Camerons Oxfordshire seat.
Bernie Sanders dedicated Hillary Clinton an unexpectedly tough oppose in the Democratic presidential primaries, riding a wave of idealism among a predominantly young voter base.
Now his brother Larry, 82, a retired social worker and former Green party councillor, plans to attempt a similar feat for the Greens in the byelection for the rock-solid Conservative constituency of Witney.
It will be a tall order. It hasnt always been the richest turf for the Green party, a party spokesman said. To become MP for Witney, he would have to overturn Camerons 22,700 -vote majority in a seat where the last Green nominee won merely 5.1% of the vote.
But as Sanders points out, he has branding on his side. Because of Bernard, Ive become famous, and I will get more attention from the media, and thats to be used to get the Green partys policies across, he told the Guardian.
Sanders has lived in Oxford since 1968, having moved to Britain after falling in love with a beautiful Englishwoman, Margaret, to whom he was married until she died in 1983.
He studied social work at Oxford University and worked as a social worker and consultant to people with disabilities and their carers. He also has a law degree from Harvard.
Sanders has been the Green partys health spokesman since last year, and says the NHS and social care are the issues closest to my heart. On a local level, he has campaigned in support of Witney and Horton hospitals, but also wants to highlight the pressure that social care is under nationally, and opposes the privatisation of social care and the NHS.
He will also echo two brothers campaigns emphasis on social inequality. In Britain, as in the US, we have had an increase in inequality in the last 30 years, and thats having all sorts of consequences, he said. Many people cant afford houses who you would have expected to not long ago.
Neoliberalism, he says, has shuddered to a close, and he blames rancour for that for the Brexit vote.
The same tides in the US are what propelled two brothers campaign, he said. Bernards campaign in America was a very successful shifting point.
Sanders will face barrister Robert Courts as the Conservative nominee, local councillor Liz Leffman for the Liberal Democrat, and Duncan Enright as the Labour candidate.
The Greens point out that Enright has called for Corbyn to stand down, making the scope for Sanders to pick up subsistence among Corbyn-backing voters. Caroline Lucas, the partys MP and co-leader, will campaign in the constituency on Saturday.
Larry Sanders campaigned for two brothers as a member of Democrat Abroad and was filmed telling the Democratic convention through tears that their parents would be immensely proud.
Bernie Sanders will not be officially endorsing Larry, because of the convention against foreign politicians intervening in domestic elections.
But in last years general election, when Larry Sanders ran for the Greens in the neighbouring constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon, Bernie spoke via Skype at a meeting of Larrys supporters. Larry Sanders will not rule in a similar intervention in the byelection.
Our similarities in terms of policies are astonishing, partly because we talk all the time, Larry Sanders said.
He cannot think of a policy where they have major differences, he added. We both have maintained a kind of naivet, where we look around and say, why does a rich country have poor people?
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