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Bernie Sanders is running for reelection

Bryan Metzger   

Bernie Sanders is running for reelection
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders is running for reelection in 2024.
  • The 82-year-old is the last senator to announce his reelection plans this year.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest-serving national independent in American history, will seek a fourth term in the US Senate later this year.

The 82-year-old progressive made the announcement in an 8 ½ minute video on X, touting his record while listing off several legislative priorities he hopes to accomplish in the years ahead.

"These are very difficult times for our country and the world," said Sanders. "And, in many ways, this 2024 election is the most consequential election in our lifetimes."

Sanders — the second-oldest member of the Senate, behind 90-year-old Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa — had been coy about his plans for months. He is the last US senator whose term ends in 2024 to announce whether he'd seek reelection.

Sanders is immensely popular in Vermont and is all but guaranteed to be reelected in November. Though he is a registered independent, he is likely to have the support of the state Democratic Party.

His long-shot 2016 presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton helped ignite the modern-day progressive movement, paving the way for figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the "The Squad" while helping to steer the Democratic Party in a more leftward direction.

Sanders ran for president again in 2020 but ultimately came up short to Joe Biden and dropped out of the race weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanders was long considered a fringe player, but in recent years he's become something of a kingmaker in progressive politics and an important institutional player in the Senate. In his announcement video, he said he's "in a strong position to provide the kind of help that Vermonters need in these difficult times."

Under Biden's presidency, Sanders has served as the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and later of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

That's allowed him to make his mark on major party-line legislation while pushing for transformative progressive policies, including a 32-hour workweek and a $17 federal minimum wage.

In recent months, Sanders — the Jewish son of a Polish immigrant — has become the Senate's lead critic of Israel's handling of the war in Gaza, where he's pushed to place conditions on US aid to Israel.

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