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2020 presidential race: Who is Bernie Sanders?

Published: Friday, February 14, 2020 @ 4:49 PM
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2020 @ 4:49 PM

What You Need to Know: Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, announced in February 2019 that he is running for president in 2020.

Sanders, 77 and one of two independents in the U.S. Senate, has run before, losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In the months leading up to his announcement, Sanders sparked conversation about a second run as he shored up his digital and social media operations. He was also being urged to run again by “Organizing for Bernie.” The grassroots organization has held more than 400 “house parties” to drum up support nationwide.

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His response to President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union speech also had those watching the race more convinced he would announcing a run soon.

The three-term senator has been dealing with issues from his 2016 campaign for the White House. He came under fire over reports by several female campaign workers that they were sexually harassed by male staffers. In addition, he has faced charges that he paid male aides more than his female aides.

“To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologize,” Sanders said in February 2019. “Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate.”

  • Here are some things you may not know about Sanders:
  • He was born on Sept. 8, 1941, in New York's Brooklyn burough.
  • He's been married twice and has one child and three stepchildren.
  • He attended Brooklyn College from 1959-1960 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Chicago in 1964.
  • He was a member of the Young People's Socialist League while at the University of Chicago.
  • He did not serve in the military but applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War.
     
  • He is an independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He is the longest-serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress.
     
  • He ran for governor of Vermont in 1972, 1976 and 1986. He lost all three times. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1972 and 1974, losing both times.
     
  • In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, winning the seat by 10 votes. He was re-elected three more times.
     
  • In 1988, he lost a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but won a bid in 1990.
     
  • He served eight terms in the U.S. House.
     
  • In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.
     
  • He announced his run for president on April 30, 2015, and within 24 hours had raised $1.5 million.
     
  • Sanders won the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, 2016.
     
  • He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on July 12, 2016.
     
  • He was nominated for a Grammy in the spoken word category for an album he and actor Mark Ruffalo performed.