Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., one of the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination despite not being a member of the party, could continue his bid as an independent if beaten by someone else.
Andrew Stein, former New York state assemblyman, Manhattan borough president and New York City Council president, wrote in an op-ed for Fox News that “Sanders has, at every opportunity, disassociated himself from the Democratic party politically and ideologically.”
Stein notes that although Sanders ran for the Democratic nomination for Senate in Vermont twice, in 2006 and 2012, he declined the nomination both times and ran as an independent. He “briefly joined the Democratic party to run in the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary, but after winning the primary he un-enrolled in the Democratic party.”
Although Sanders is currently running for the Democratic nomination for president, he has also filed to run for re-election to the Senate as an independent in 2024.
“Sanders’ poll numbers, fundraising, and his substantial base, coupled with the historic ambiguity of his relationship with the Democratic Party, represent a real opportunity to seek the presidential nomination as a third-party candidate — even if he does not receive enough delegates to become the Democratic nominee.”
Stein concludes, “We are still many months out from the Democratic primaries and more Democrats are announcing their campaigns for president every day. As the field finalizes, one must ask if Sanders will even support the eventual Democratic nominee if he feels he has been denied the nomination.”
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