Elected officials of the party that claims Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as one of its own made it clear Friday that he is their choice for president in 2016.
The Vermont Progressive Party, whose origins date back to Sanders’ surprise victory 34 years ago in the Burlington mayoral race, endorsed Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination Friday in a news release.
Fifteen elected officials who ran on the November ballot as Progressives, including State Auditor Doug Hoffer, the only statewide Progressive officeholder, signaled their support for Sanders.
The signatories included state Sens. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, and David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden. Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, was not listed on the news release but he said in an email that he supports Sanders and would make his own announcement.
Pollina said the U.S. needs Sanders’ voice in the race.
“Bernie really means what he says,” Pollina said in the release. “It’s a rare thing to have a politician who’s so consistently committed to doing the right thing for people.”
Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, said Sanders’ views on working families, climate change and other progressive issues should be part of the national debate.
“I doubt most Americans have heard a serious political voice like his before: it’s refreshing and I think our country is ready for it,” Pearson.
The other elected officials were:
Rep. Susan Hatch Davis; Rep. Mollie Burke; Rep. Sandy Haas; Rep. Diana Gonzalez; Rep. Robin Chesnut¬ Tangerman; Rep. Amy Sheldon; Burlington City Council Chair Jane Knodell; Burlington City Councilor Selene Colburn; Burlington City Councilor Max Tracy; Burlington City Councilor Sara Giannoni; and Winooski City Councilor Robert Millar.
The Progressive Party’s state committee will vote on a presidential endorsement in September.