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All In The Family: Jimmy Carter's Grandson Runs For Governor

Former President Jimmy Carter and his grandson, Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter, watch a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta on Aug. 14.

Jimmy Carter's grandson is running for Carter's old job — governor of Georgia.

Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter formally announced Thursday he will challenge Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, joining a long list of relatives of famous politicians on ballots in 2014.

In fact, Georgia voters will determine the fate of a second statewide legacy candidate next year: Michelle Nunn. She's running as a Democrat to become the state's next senator, a position her father, Sam Nunn, held for 24 years.

The practice of dynasty politics is a familiar phenomenon. But, notably, 2014 is shaping up as an election year that will feature legacy candidates from some of the nation's most accomplished and best-known political clans — the families of past presidents and vice presidents.

Republican George P. Bush, the grandson of George H.W. Bush and nephew of George W. Bush, is the favorite to become the next land commissioner of Texas as he embarks on his own political career. Dick Cheney's daughter Liz is challenging Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in a GOP primary.

Then there's Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III, the great-nephew of John F. Kennedy and sixth member of the Kennedy family to serve in Congress, who is likely to win a second term in Massachusetts' 4th District.

As for the current administration, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Biden, is running for re-election in 2014 — a recent poll ranked him as the most popular elected official in the state. Farther down along family trees, Milton Wolf, a distant cousin of President Obama's and a Tea Party enthusiast, is challenging Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in the Republican primary.

Looking ahead to 2016, presidential families figure to be well-represented again: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the wife of Bill Clinton, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the son of George H.W. Bush, are both top White House prospects.

Click here to hear NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg's 2002 interview with Jimmy and Jason Carter.

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Adam Wollner
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
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