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Twin sisters run for office for separate parties

Twin sisters Monica Sparks and Jessica Ann Tyson seem identical in almost every way -that is, until they start talkin...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 12:28 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 12:28 AM

Twin sisters Monica Sparks and Jessica Ann Tyson seem identical in almost every way -that is, until they start talking politics.

Jessica, a Republican, decided to run for Kent County Commissioner for the 13th district, which later inspired Monica to run for herself in the 12th district but as a Democrat.

"The reason that I'm standing as a Democrat is funny because she said the same thing but we just see through two different lenses," Monica tells FOX 17.

For two sisters that have been each other's biggest supporters, that decision took a toll on them.

"We are not divided. Separated for a season, guess you could say because after this we will figure out whichever way it goes," Monica says.

Jessica says having separate campaigns has brought back difficult memories for her. Monica and Jessica's birthmother was addicted to heroin and they were later abused by their foster parents to the point of starvation.

"When we were little, we were taken away from our mother and we were separated and that was really, really hard," Jessica says. "(Campaigning separately) isn't the same thing but you know, that memory just took me back just a second."

That pain from their childhood is part of what fuels their commitment to serve Kent County.

"It's so amazing just to be able to sit here and run for county commissioner, are you kidding me?" Monica says.

Monica and Jessica were eventually adopted into a loving family that taught them to be civically engaged.

"Our parents were strict about voting," Monica says. "You better vote. It is your right, it is your responsibility, people have died for that right."

When they were kids and even now, the twins say their mother never allowed them to argue about politics. Jessica says growing up they didn't even know which party their parents identified with.

"My thing is, at the end of the day our parents taught us that we need to stand and stand for something and because we stand and we stand strong, we don't necessarily have to agree on politics or even what we're gonna drink for the evening," Jessica says. "We don't have to agree on that but one thing we have to do is coexist."

Even as adults, you can still catch them finishing each other's sentences.

"The left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird," Jessica and Monica say together.

The sisters say they refuse to write each other off simply because of their party affiliations.

"It takes time to get to understand people," Jessica says. "It takes time to get to understand their experiences but if you do that I promise you, you will find more commonality than anything else."

Monica says those commonalities include equality, justice, liberty and wanting others to succeed.

"I want make sure that we continue services for our seniors, our respected veterans, families, individuals and children," Monica says. "I'd also like to make sure that we take care of our mental health for individuals. Where we can have strong minds, we can have strong, healthy communities."

Those are all issues Jessica agrees with.

"I would like to see the state work with the counties better for roads," Jessica says. "These roads need infrastructure and these roads are horrible. I'd like to see us have world class schools, schools that will educate our children to the top level, not to be somewhere just okay."

Still, the sisters say they will stay loyal to their parties and endorse each other's opponents.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1005797

Reported Deaths: 16449
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1353572119
Lake663011164
Allen57820801
Hamilton46296464
St. Joseph44311613
Elkhart35888509
Vanderburgh32214480
Tippecanoe27898258
Johnson25056445
Hendricks23854359
Porter22890365
Madison18724409
Clark18540252
Vigo17449303
Monroe15242199
LaPorte15124250
Delaware15043261
Howard14719289
Kosciusko12285147
Hancock11709175
Bartholomew11602180
Warrick11287189
Floyd11082215
Wayne10965253
Grant10051220
Morgan9457176
Boone8913116
Dubois8263131
Dearborn820893
Henry8200152
Noble8017106
Marshall7916135
Cass7528121
Lawrence7447171
Shelby7176119
Jackson697289
Gibson6584115
Harrison647591
Knox6418106
Huntington6385100
DeKalb630699
Montgomery6252110
Miami592298
Putnam580078
Clinton574971
Whitley564255
Steuben560676
Wabash5324104
Jasper529879
Jefferson510297
Ripley499886
Adams481576
Daviess4670114
Scott438574
Greene424496
Wells423088
Clay422060
White418164
Decatur4164102
Fayette406187
Jennings386661
Posey376644
LaGrange357678
Washington357651
Randolph344499
Spencer339543
Fountain334760
Sullivan328652
Starke316470
Owen314170
Fulton309467
Orange293564
Jay284145
Franklin265443
Perry265352
Rush261332
Carroll261133
Vermillion257754
Parke231126
Pike228843
Tipton227559
Blackford192642
Pulaski183457
Crawford159223
Newton157848
Benton150217
Brown146147
Martin138219
Switzerland134911
Warren121016
Union107016
Ohio84513
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1511760

Reported Deaths: 23616
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1636861666
Cuyahoga1457252442
Hamilton1050421416
Montgomery737101254
Summit614971105
Lucas56058912
Butler51383711
Stark464421056
Lorain35443584
Warren32687373
Mahoning30598675
Clermont28106326
Lake26907443
Delaware24114162
Licking23820287
Trumbull22742556
Fairfield22309246
Greene22212320
Medina21941311
Clark19757351
Richland18500285
Portage17857250
Wood17394221
Allen15905269
Miami15487299
Muskingum14737185
Columbiana13940269
Wayne13722265
Tuscarawas12643304
Marion11906175
Scioto11432161
Pickaway11346141
Erie10811181
Ross10532198
Lawrence9725153
Ashtabula9658200
Hancock9649150
Belmont9262206
Geauga8906157
Jefferson8531197
Huron8338141
Union816557
Washington8066138
Sandusky7790148
Athens773676
Knox7679141
Darke7618155
Seneca7306144
Ashland6917126
Auglaize678097
Shelby6493113
Brown633387
Crawford6245130
Defiance6162103
Mercer612893
Fulton599296
Highland596899
Madison592176
Guernsey583468
Logan582795
Clinton581191
Preble5692122
Putnam5301108
Williams526185
Perry516563
Champaign510372
Jackson506571
Ottawa484086
Coshocton478783
Morrow456656
Pike432763
Fayette427461
Hardin416678
Gallia416266
Adams415392
Van Wert369579
Henry362571
Holmes3619123
Hocking355579
Wyandot322261
Carroll300659
Paulding279147
Meigs263350
Monroe214854
Noble198946
Morgan193232
Harrison180143
Vinton165125
Unassigned05
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