Sen. Bernie Sanders, a longtime independent, has pledged to govern as a Democrat if elected president in 2020, a move that comes after the Democratic National Committee required all the party’s candidates to “run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.”
The DNC last year passed the rule, which angered a number of Sanders’ 2016 advisers when it was first proposed. The Sanders campaign confirmed to POLITICO that the Vermont senator signed the pledge, which The Washington Post first reported.
Sanders, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2016, held his first rally for his 2020 bid on Saturday in Chicago, where he talked about racial tensions and drew a large crowd.
However, Sanders has also filed paperwork to run for reelection to the Senate in 2024 as an independent.COUNTDOWN TO 2020
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In the 2016 presidential election, he infuriated many establishment Democrats after running as a Democrat against Hillary Clinton. Sanders caucuses and often votes with his Democratic colleagues in the Senate.
When the new DNC rule first moved forward, one senior adviser from Sanders’ 2016 campaign criticized the action, saying that he found it a “stunning resolution.”
“I really don’t get the motivation for the resolution at all,” Mark Longabaugh told POLITICO at the time. “You know, Bernie Sanders got 13 million votes in 2016. Thousands, if not millions, of those votes were young people and independents he brought into the Democratic Party.
“And I’m just stunned that the Democratic Party’s rules committee would want to try to make the Democratic Party an exclusive club, for which we want to exclude voters and large segments of the American electorate,” Longabaugh said.