Family in which several members are involved in politics
A political family (also referred to as political dynasty) is a family in which multiple members are involved in politics — particularly electoral politics. Members may be related by blood or marriage; often several generations or multiple siblings may be involved.
The Lincoln family: Abraham Lincoln, postmaster of New Salem, Illinois (1833), Illinois state House of Representatives (1834–42), U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois (1847–49), 16th U.S. president (1861–65); his cousin-in-law, John Todd Stuart, U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois (1839–43, 1863–65), Illinois state Senate (1848–52); President Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, South Chicago Board of Supervisors (1876–77), U.S. secretary of War (1881–85), U.S. minister to Great Britain (1889–93). Note: Abraham Lincoln and Levi Lincoln were fourth cousins; their great-great-grandfathers were brothers. Levi Lincoln served as a Massachusetts state legislator (1797–98), member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1800–01), U.S. attorney general and acting secretary of State in the Jefferson administration, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts (1807–08), and governor of Massachusetts (1808–09).
The Roosevelt family: 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–09) and 32nd U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–45), fifth cousins by blood (their great-great-great-grandfathers were brothers) and uncle-in-law and nephew-in-law by marriage. TR and FDR each served as U.S. assistant secretary of the Navy and as governor of New York before serving as president. FDR's wife and Theodore's niece, Eleanor Roosevelt, served as adviser to the president (1933–45), chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1946–52), chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961–62). TR's descendants: His son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., governor of Puerto Rico (1929–32) and the Philippines (1932–33); Theodore Jr.'s son, Theodore Roosevelt III, Pennsylvania secretary of Commerce (1949–51). FDR and Eleanor's sons: Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., U.S. House of Representatives from New York (1949–55), U.S. undersecretary of Commerce (1963–65); James Roosevelt, secretary to the President (1937–38), chairman of the California Democratic Party (1946–48), U.S. House of Representatives from California (1955–65); Elliott Roosevelt, mayor of Miami Beach, Florida (1965–67); James's sons, James Roosevelt, co-chair of the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee (1995 -), and Hall Delano Roosevelt, Long Beach, California, City Council (1996–2000).
The Bush family: Prescott Bush, U.S. Senator from Connecticut (1952–63); his son, George H. W. Bush, 41st U.S. president (1989–93), U.S. vice president (1981–89), director of Central Intelligence Agency (1976–77), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1971–73), U.S. House of Representatives from Texas (1967–71); George H.W.'s sons, George W. Bush, 43rd U.S. president (2001–09) and governor of Texas (1995–2000), and Jeb Bush, governor of Florida (1995–2007); Jeb's son, George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner (2015–23).
The Ashcroft family: John Ashcroft, governor of Missouri (1985–93), U.S. Senate from Missouri (1995–2001), U.S. attorney general (2001–05); his son, Jay Ashcroft, secretary of state of Missouri (2017–).
The Bayh family: Birch Bayh, Indiana state House of Representatives (1954–62), U.S. Senate from Indiana (1963–81); his son, Evan Bayh, governor of Indiana (1989–97), U.S. Senate from Indiana (1999–2011).
The Beshear family: Steve Beshear, attorney general (1979–83), lieutenant governor (1983–87) and governor of Kentucky (2007–15); his son, Andy, attorney general (2016–19) and governor of Kentucky (2019–).
The Blunt family: Roy Blunt, U.S. House of Representatives (1997–2011) and U.S. Senate (2011–) from Missouri; his son, Matt Blunt, governor of Missouri (2005–09).
The Celebrezze family: Frank D. Celebrezze, safety director for the City of Cleveland (1942–47), municipal court judge (1947–53); his brother, Anthony, mayor of Cleveland (1954–61), U.S. secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1961–65), federal judge (1965–98); Frank's sons, Frank Jr., chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court (1978–86), and James, Ohio state House of Representatives (1967–74); Anthony's son, Anthony Jr., Ohio state Senate (1975–78), secretary of state (1978–83), attorney general (1983–91); Frank Jr.'s son, Frank III, appeals court judge, Ohio Supreme Court justice; James's daughter, Leslie, judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas (2009 – ); James' son, Nicholas, Ohio state House of Representatives (2012–19).
The Cheney family: Dick Cheney, U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming (1979–89), U.S. secretary of Defense (1989–93), and 46th U.S. vice president (2001–09); his daughter, Liz Cheney, U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming (2017–23).
The Cuomos: Mario Cuomo, governor of New York (1983–94); his son, Andrew Cuomo, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1997–2001), governor of New York (2011–21).
The Dingell family: John Dingell Sr., U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan (1933–55); his son, John Dingell, U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan (1955–2015); John's wife, Debbie Dingell, U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan (2015–) (the same seat has been represented by a member of the Dingell family continuously since 1933); John's son, Christopher D. Dingell, Michigan state senator (1987–2003); Michigan circuit court judge.
The Ford family: John Ford, Tennessee state Senate (1974–2005); his sister, Ophelia Ford, Tennessee state Senate (2005–14); brother, Emmitt Ford, Tennessee state House of Representatives (1975–81); brother, Harold Ford Sr., Tennessee state House of Representatives (1971–75), U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee (1975–97); Harold's son, Harold Ford Jr., U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee (1997–2007).
The Gilligan family: John J. Gilligan, U.S. House of Representatives (1965–67), governor of Ohio (1971–75); his daughter, Kathleen Sebelius, governor of Kansas (2003–09), U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services (2009–14).
The Gore family: Albert Gore Sr., U.S. House of Representatives (1939–53) and U.S. Senate (1953–71) from Tennessee; his son, Al Gore, U.S. House of Representatives (1977–85) and U.S. Senate from Tennessee (1985–93), 45th U.S. vice president (1993–2001).
The Kyl family: John Henry Kyl, U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa (1959–65, 1967–73); his son, Jon Kyl, U.S. House of Representatives (1987–95) and U.S. Senate from Arizona (1995–2013, 2018).
The Landrieu family: Moon Landrieu, Louisiana state House of Representatives (1960–66), mayor of New Orleans (1970–78), U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1979–81); his daughter, Mary Landrieu, Louisiana state House of Representatives (1980–88), Louisiana state treasurer (1988–96), U.S. Senate from Louisiana (1997–2015); her brother, Mitch Landrieu Louisiana state representative (1988–2004), lieutenant governor of Louisiana (2004–10), mayor of New Orleans (2010–18), senior adviser to President Biden for infrastructure coordination (2021–).
The LaTourette family: Steve LaTourette, U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1995–2013); his daughter, Sarah LaTourette, Ohio state House of Representatives (2015–19).
The Levin family: Sander Levin, U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan (1983–2019); his brother, Carl Levin, U.S. Senate from Michigan (1979–2015); Sander's son, Andy Levin, U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan (2019–2023).
The Lippitt/Chafee family: Henry Lippitt, governor of Rhode Island (1875–77); his sons, Charles W. Lippitt, governor of Rhode Island (1895–97), and Henry F. Lippitt, U.S. Senate from Rhode Island (1911–17); Henry F.'s son, Frederick Lippitt, Rhode Island state House of Representatives (1961–83); the elder Henry's great-grandson, John Chafee, governor of Rhode Island (1963–69), U.S. secretary of the Navy (1969–72), U.S. Senate from Rhode Island (1976–99); John's son, Lincoln Chafee, mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island (1993–99), U.S. Senate from Rhode Island (1999–2007), governor of Rhode Island (2011–15).
The Long family: Huey Long, governor of Louisiana (1928–32), U.S. Senate from Louisiana (1932–35); his widow, Rose McConnell Long, U.S. Senate from Louisiana (1936–37); his brother, Earl Long, lieutenant governor (1936–39) and governor (1939–40, 1948–52, 1956–60) of Louisiana; brother, George S. Long, U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana (1953–58); Huey Long's son, Russell B. Long, U.S. Senate from Louisiana (1948–87). See Long family.
The Mack family: Connie Mack III, U.S. House of Representatives (1983–89) and U.S. Senate (1989–2001) from Florida; his son, Connie Mack IV, Florida state House of Representatives (2001–03) and U.S. House of Representatives from Florida (2005–13); Mary Bono, Connie IV's then-wife, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California (1998–2013).
The Mathews family: George Mathews, governor of Georgia (1787–88, 1793–96), U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia (1789–91); his brothers, Sampson and Archer, served in the Virginia General Assembly. Their descendants served as governors, judges and legislators in five states.
The Murkowski family: Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senate from Alaska (1981–2002), governor of Alaska (2002–06); his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, Alaska state House of Representatives (1999–2002), U.S. Senate from Alaska (2002–).
The O'Neill family: Thomas O'Neill, Cambridge, Massachusetts City Council; his son, Tip O'Neill, Massachusetts House of Representatives (1937–53), U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1953–87), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1977–87); Tip's son Thomas P. O'Neill III, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts (1975–83).
The Paul family: Ron Paul, U.S. House of Representatives from Texas (1976–77, 1979–85, 1997–2013); his son. Rand Paul, U.S. Senate from Kentucky (2011 -).
The Payne/Bolton family: Henry B. Payne, Ohio state Senate (1849–52), U.S. House of Representatives (1875–77) and U.S. Senate (1885–91) from Ohio; his son, Nathan P. Payne, mayor of Cleveland (1875–76); Henry's granddaughter, Frances P. Bolton, U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1940–69); her husband, Chester C. Bolton, U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1929–37); their son, Oliver P. Bolton, U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1953–57, 1963–65).
The Pence family: Mike Pence, 48th U.S. vice president (2017–21), governor of Indiana (2013–17), U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (2001–13); his brother, Greg Pence, U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (2019–).
The Romney family: George W. Romney, governor of Michigan (1963–69), U S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1969–73); his son, Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts (2003–07), Republican Party nominee for U.S. president (2012), U.S. Senate from Utah (2019–); Mitt's niece, Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee (2017–), delegate to Republican National Convention (2016), chair of the Michigan Republican Party (2015–17).
The Sununu family: John H. Sununu, governor of New Hampshire (1983–89), White House chief of staff (1989–91); his sons John E. Sununu, U.S. House of Representatives (1997-03) and U.S. Senate (2003–09) from New Hampshire, and Chris Sununu, New Hampshire Executive Council (2011–17), governor of New Hampshire (2017–).
The Sykes family: Vernon Sykes, Ohio state Senate (2017–), Ohio state House of Representatives (1983–2000, 2007–14), Akron City Council (1970s–83); his wife, Barbara Sykes, Ohio state House of Representatives (2001–06), Akron City Council (1990s–2001); their daughter, Emilia Sykes, Ohio state House of Representatives (2015–2022), U.S. House of Representatives (2023–).
The Zone family: Michael Zone, Cleveland City Council (1960–74); his wife, Mary Zone, Cleveland City Council (1974–86); their son, Matt Zone, Cleveland City Council (2001–); their son-in-law, Lee Fisher, Ohio state House of Representatives (1981–82), Ohio state Senate (1983–90), Ohio state attorney general (1991–95), lieutenant governor of Ohio (2007–11); their nephew, Joseph Zone, Cleveland Municipal Court judge.
The Foot family: Isaac Foot was an MP from 1922 to 1935. Three of his sons also followed him into politics: the eldest son, Dingle, was Solicitor General for England and Wales under Harold Wilson; the third son, John, stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate; and the fourth son, Michael, was Leader of the Opposition from 1979 to 1983,
The Johnson family: Stanley Johnson was a Member of the European Parliament from 1979 until 1984. Two of his sons followed him into politics: the eldest, Boris, was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2012 and Prime Minister from 2019 to 2022; while the youngest, Jo, also served as an MP.
Two members of the M. Karunanidhi family have served as Chief Minister, including his son M.K. Stalin and many more, including children, grandchildren and other relatives have held various ministerial positions in both state and central government.
In Greece, 3 families have been predominant figures in Greek politics since the end of World War II. Current Prime Minister (since 2019) Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the son of former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis, brother of former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis, and uncle of current Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis. The Mitsotakis family are also related to former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos by marriage. Another important political family is the Papandreou family. Georgios Papandreou served three terms as prime minister, starting in 1944, on a political career that spanned five decades. His son, Andreas Papandreou, also served three terms as prime minister, starting in 1981. George Papandreou, Andreas' son and Georgios' grandson, served in the same role from 2009 to 2011. Another important political family is the Karamanlis family. Konstantinos Karamanlis was Greece's longest serving Prime Minister and helped the country enter the EU in 1981. His nephew Kostas Karamanlis also served as Prime Minister from 2000 to 2004 and another nephew Kostas Karamanlis served as minister of Infrastructure and Transport in 2019 to 2023.
In Japan, various families dominate the political scene, several of which have occupied the prime ministership. Such instances include Shinzo Abe, who served from 2012 to 2020 and from 2006 to 2007, and who is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, who served from 1957 to 1960, and the great-nephew of Eisaku Sato, who served from 1964 to 1972. Additionally, both Kishi and Sato are brothers. There are other notable examples including Yukio Hatoyama (2009–2010), grandson of Ichiro Hatoyama (1954–1956), Morihiro Hosokawa (1993–1994), grandson of Fumimaro Konoe (1937 – 1939 & 1940 – 1941), Taro Aso (2008–2009), grandson of Shigeru Yoshida and (1946 – 1947, 1948 – 1954) and son-in-law of Zenko Suzuki (1980–1982) and Yasuo Fukuda (2007–2008), son of Takeo Fukuda (1976–1978).
In Malaysia, Abdul Razak Hussein served as Prime Minister from 1970 to 1976 and his son Najib Razak also served as Prime Minister from 2009 to 2018. Abdul's brother-in-law Hussein Onn also served as Prime Minister from 1976 to 1981.
In the Philippines, two members of the Aquino family (originating from Tarlac) had served as president, Corazon Aquino (who served from 1986 – 1992) and her son Benigno Aquino III (who served from 2010 – 2016). The Macapagal family also had two members who served as president, Diosdado Macapagal (who served from 1961 – 1965) and his daughter Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (who served from 2001 – 2010). Later the Marcos family, known for its kleptocratic rule, would have two presidents: Ferdinand Sr. (who served from 1965 until his removal in 1986) and his namesake son, Ferdinand Jr., widely known as "Bongbong", who has currently been serving since 2022. The family also produced a senator, Ferdinand Sr.'s daughter Imee who has been serving since 2019.
In Portugal, the minister of welfare state is married to a member of parliament involved in a scandal related with an ONG financed by the welfare state; The daughter of the same minister is the presidency minister; The interior minister is married with the sea minister; the justice minister husband was nominated for a public commission by a co-minister.
Hoping to prevent political dynasties, the Indonesian parliament, which represents the third largest democracy in the world, passed a law barring anyone holding a major office within five years of a relative.