Bernie Sanders Launches 2020 Presidential Campaign

US Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont progressive whose 2016 White House campaign garnered fervent grassroots support said on Tuesday he would again seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

Sanders, 77, announced his candidacy in an email to supporters, vowing to build a vast movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics.

Sanders said he would push for many of the same issues that powered his 2016 run and resonated with younger voters, including universal healthcare, raising the hourly minimum wage to USD$15, and free public college tuition.

“Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few,” Sanders said, asking for 1 million people to sign up to kick off his bid.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders has launched his 2020 presidential bid. Image: Getty Images.

Sanders’ insurgent 2016 candidacy against front-runner Hillary Clinton ended up capturing 23 state nominating contests, but generated tension between the party’s establishment and liberal wings that split the Democrats in 2016 and still plagues the party.

He joins an already-crowded Democratic race featuring candidates touting many of the ideas he brought into the party mainstream. They include fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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Sanders has been among the leaders in early opinion polls of prospective 2020 Democratic candidates, but a broad range of progressive candidates could make it harder for Sanders to stand out and generate the same level of support as four years ago.

Bernie Sanders 2016
Bernie Sanders campaigning in 2019. Image: Getty Images.

In an interview with SiriusXM radio, Sanders said voters “might want to look at who was there first, and who raised these issues in the past.”

He condemned Republican President Donald Trump in his statement as “the most dangerous president in modern American history,” labelling him “a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe.”