Brothers Who Haven't Spoken in Decades Both Want to Be Mayor

Estranged siblings are squaring off for the office in Canadian town of Port Colborne
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2022 8:51 AM CDT
Brothers Who Haven't Spoken in Decades Both Want to Be Mayor
It's a Steele-on-Steele battle for the mayorship of Port Colborne.   (Getty Images/IanDikhtiar)

Port Colborne is looking for its next mayor, and on Monday, the small Ontario town will decide if that person is going to be incumbent Bill Steele or his only challenger, Charles Steele—the estranged brother he hasn't spoken to more than 30 years. "A lot of politicians have silver spoons in their mouths," Charles, 67, tells the CBC in explaining why he's running against his younger sibling in the municipal elections for the mayorship Bill has held for four years. "We could use some new thinking." Charles notes that if he hadn't run as a representative for "regular people," Bill would've automatically become mayor again. And it had actually looked like an unopposed candidacy for Bill, 60, until late August, when Charles submitted his application on the day before candidate registration ended, reports the Guardian.

The two were forced to talk for the first time in decades earlier this month, when they faced each other for the only mayoral debate before the election. "I got a little mad a few times," Charles tells the paper, adding he was also "nervous," as he'd never debated in front of an audience before. "But [my brother] thinks he's entitled to become mayor. And his arrogance was bothering me." As for the two men's political stances, Charles calls his brother "pretty right-wing," while he describes himself as being "for the little guy." Bill, meanwhile, has refused to mention his brother directly, noting to reporters he "doesn't talk about" his political rivals.

If you're scouring the internet to find out what caused the big rift between the two, don't bother: Neither brother has said, other than Charles noting he moved away from the family for quite a few years, to British Columbia, while Bill stayed home and joined the family business. Bill also seems to have a beef with Charles using the name Charles: Even though it's his actual first name (one he shares with their father), he apparently grew up going by his middle name, David. "Why he's using Charles, I don't know," Bill gripes to the Toronto Star. One thing Charles does know is that there's probably even less chance now of the two of them mending things. "It's definitely made things worse," he says. "I just don't think he was taking me seriously. But obviously he is taking me very seriously now." (More Ontario stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.