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Bernie Sanders Aims for the White House

Becomes first Jewish presidential candidate since Joe Lieberman

by
Tal Trachtman Alroy
April 30, 2015
U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) speaks on Capitol Hill on April 30, 2015. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) speaks on Capitol Hill on April 30, 2015. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders, the liberal senator from Vermont, announced this morning that he will seek the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

“I am running for President of the United States because America needs a political revolution,” he wrote on Twitter.

In effect, Sanders, 73, has become Hillary Clinton’s first official competitor, and the first Jewish candidate to run for president since Joe Lieberman sought the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election.

“People should not underestimate me,” Sanders told the AP.

Running as an independent, the Senator promised to fight income inequality, raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, and offer tuition-free education at public colleges and universities.

Sanders was raised in Brooklyn by Polish Jewish immigrants before moving to Vermont after college. His father, Eli, sold paint and lost many family members in the holocaust.

The National Jewish Democratic Council welcomed Sanders’ candidacy, “noting with pride the entry of a longtime Jewish progressive to the race,” the organization wrote in an email.

Tal Trachtman Alroy is an intern at Tablet.