2024 Election /

Senator Bernie Sanders Will Seek Reelection

'These are very difficult times for our country and the world,' the 82-year-old said

Senator Bernie Sanders Will Seek Reelection

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will run for a fourth term in office.

The 82-year-old announced his decision on May 6 after months of speculation regarding the progressive independent’s future. Sanders stressed not only his experience but his institutional authority when explaining his rationale for seeking another term.

“As the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, as part of the Senate Democratic Leadership team, as a senior member of the Veterans Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee, I have been – and will be if reelected – in a strong position to provide the kind of help the Vermonters need in these difficult times,” he said in a video statement on X.

“In recent years, working together, we have made important progress in addressing some very serious challenges,” the senator continued. “But much, much more needs to be done if we are to become the state and nation our people deserve.”

Sanders touted Vermont’s state-backed health care benefits and his personal record of voting in favor of pro-abortion policies while presenting a list of his accomplishments.

“I’m proud of Vermont for becoming the first state to enshrine abortion rights into our Constitution,” he said. “But that is not enough. We must codify Roe v. Wade into national law and do everything possible to oppose the well-funded right wing effort to roll back the gains that women have achieved after decades of struggle.”

He later argued that wealthy citizens should pay more for the Social Security trust fund and lamented the cost of housing in Vermont.

Toward the end of his statement, Sanders addressed the Israel-Hamas conflict and the ongoing war in Gaza.

“Israel had the absolute right to defend itself from this terrorist attack, but it did not and does not have the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people, which is exactly what it is doing,” he said. “In my view, U.S. tax dollars should not be going to the extremist Netanyahu government to continue its devastating war on the Palestinian people.”

“These are very difficult times for our country and the world. And in many ways, this 2024 election is the most consequential in our lifetimes,” Sanders added. “Will the United States continue to even function as a democracy or will we move to an authoritarian form of government?”

Less than 20 minutes after Sanders’s video announcement was posted on his personal X account, he shared a separate message condemning Netanyahu on his official senate account. 

One million people have fled to Rafah. For months, the U.S. has warned against an attack,” he stated. “An assault is imminent. It will kill countless civilians. President Biden must back his words with action. End all offensive military aid to Israel.”

Prior to winning his U.S. Senate seat in 2018, Sanders served 16 years in the House of Representatives. He holds the record for the longest-serving independent member of Congress. 

Progressive advocates and union activists had previously stressed their opposition to the octogenarian's potential retirement. Sanders will be just shy of 90 at the end of a fourth, six-year senatorial term.

“We won’t let him retire,” RoseAnn DeMoro, the former head of the National Nurses United union, told The Washington Post in March. “The absence of Bernie Sanders in the Senate would cause a massive vacuum.”

Sanders had denied plans to run for president for the third time but did not give a definitive statement on his reelection plans when speaking to the media in January. 

Sanders represents one of the most Democratic-leaning states in the country and would likely be a lock for reelection if he opted not to run,” reported Axios at the time.

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