Sen. Bernie Sanders, 82, announces he will run for reelection

Washington — Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, said on Monday that he’ll seek reelection in November. 

The 82-year-old announced in a social media video that he will seek a fourth term in the Senate, saying serving in the upper chamber of Congress has been the “honor of my life,” while outlining a number of progressive priorities that remain. 

“Today I am announcing my intention to seek another term,” Sanders said, adding that he’s in a position to “provide the kind of help that Vermonters need in these difficult times.”

Sanders said in a statement that the coming election is “the most important national election in our lifetimes,” urging that “we must fight to make sure that we remain a democracy.” While pointing to his progressive accomplishments during his time in the Senate, Sanders listed a number remaining priorities — from universal healthcare to lowering prescription drug prices to cutting carbon emissions and protecting access to reproductive healthcare for women. 

“The stakes are enormous,” he said. “This is an election we must not lose.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders talks with reporters after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 28, 2023. 

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Vermont independent caucuses with Democrats and leads a top health care committee and serves on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s leadership team. 

For Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history, his reelection in deep-blue Vermont is all but guaranteed. But whether he’s able to shepherd his priorities through Congress during another term remains to be seen. 

Sanders ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 and 2020, but he ultimately fell short in the primary process to the more moderate candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and now-President Biden. But in recent years, he’s become the leading progressive voice in the Senate, often working with Mr. Biden to push shared priorities and wielding serious influence in the chamber.  

In recent months, Sanders has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government, sometimes breaking with Democratic leaders in the process. In his reelection video announcement on Monday, he reiterated that while “Israel had the absolute right to defend itself” against the Oct. 7 attack, “it did not and does not have the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people, which is exactly what it is doing.”

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