Sen. Bernie Sanders, I–Vermont, announced his campaign f0r the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination today, promising to run on a progressive economic platform.
The self-described democratic socialist is the second major Democrat to announce his candidacy following former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A two-term senator, he is currently the longest serving independent in Congress and caucuses with the Democrats.
Sanders may be the answer for progressive Democrats who have long been skeptical of Clinton, the former senator, first lady and a 2008 presidential candidate and presumed frontrunner.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Sanders said he’ll campaign on progress economic and taxation policy, campaign finance reform, against a hawkish U.S. foreign policy. He also cited his opposition to free-trade agreements and vote against the Keystone XL oil pipeline to distinguish himself as independent alternative who could appeal to Democrats, Republicans and other independents.
“So to me, the question is whose views come closer to representing the vast majority of working people in this country,” Sanders said. “And you know what? I think my views do.”
While Sanders is looking to nudge Clinton the the left on these issues, LGBT issues, like same-sex marriage, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, were not mentioned in the interview. But Sanders has long been an advocate for the LGBT community throughout his fourteen years in Congress, first as a House member and now as a senator.