By Michael Sainato
At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, over 1800 delegates attended to represent Bernie Sanders and his grassroots campaign. In the wake of the 2016 election, many of these Bernie Sanders Supporters have taken the inspiration from Sanders’ historic Campaign to run for elected offices themselves.
In Georgia’s 1st congressional district, the co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ Georgia delegation, Lisa Ring, is challenging in 2018 Republican incumbent Earl “Buddy” Carter, who won his last election unopposed. “Sen. Sanders taught me that every person has the potential to change the world with the right support. In my district, the conservative incumbent ran unopposed last election. It is time for me to stand up and fight for the people of my district,” Ring told me in an interview.
Ring’s fellow co-chair of Sanders’ Georgia delegation, State Senator Vincent Fort, is running for Mayor of Atlanta this November. Khalid Kamau, after serving as a Sanders delegate in 2016 became the first Black Lives Matter activist to win elected office in April 2017 this year, winning a seat on the South Fulton City Council. Another Georgia Sanders delegate, Andrew Niquette, is running for state representative in 2018 in Albany, Georgia.
In May 2017, former Sanders delegate from New York, Christine Pellegrino, pulled an upset victory in a special election for State Assembly in a district that Trump won. Former Sanders delegate Tom Shcherbenko won the Democratic nomination to challenge the Republican incumbent for Richmond County Borough President James Oddo in Staten Island, New York. Another Sanders delegate, Carmen Hulbert, is running for New York City Council in November to represent District 38. Sanders delegate Patrick Nelson is running for Congress in New York’s 21st congressional district.
California Sanders delegates Pierre Beauregard is running for congress in California’s 50th congressional district next year and Sanders delegate Jestin Samson is running for California State Senate. Sanders delegate Angelica Cardenas is challenging Democrat incumbent Tony Cardenas in California’s 29th district and Miguel Zuniga is challenging Maxine Waters for her seat.
Florida Sanders delegates Stacy Patel and her husband, Sanjay Patel, took over the Brevard County Democratic Party, with Stacy winning the Chair position and Sanjay winning a State Committeeman position in December 2016.
Mississippi Sanders delegate Weston Lindemann was elected to City Council in Meridian, Mississippi in June 2017.
In Illinois, Sanders delegate Jose Villalobos won election as Elgin Township Trustee in May 2017 against a Republican incumbent.
Veteran and Sanders delegate Jesse Smith is challenging Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers for his seat in 2018.
Hawaii Sanders delegate Tim Vandeveer won the State’s Party Chair position earlier this year.
An Iraq War Veteran and Sanders delegate, Dorothy Gasque, is challenging Republican incumbent in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District next year.
Colorado Sanders delegate Gabriel McArthur is challenging Colorado Secretary of State, Republican incumbent Wayne Williams in 2018.
Daniel Clark, a Sanders delegate from Iowa, is running in 2018 to represent the state’s second congressional district against incumbent Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA).
Texas Sanders Delegate Justin Snider is running for congress to represent the state’s 6th district in 2018 against Republican incumbent, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX).
These former Sanders delegates from his 2016 Presidential Campaign represent some of his closest supporters from a pool of nearly 7000 political candidates that signed up to run for office in June 2016 to be apart of the Political Revolution that Sanders’ Campaign sought to energize. His campaign breathed new life into American Democracy, inspiring hundreds of people across the country to run for political office themselves to rein in the progressive change this country needs rather than leave it up to the Democratic and Republican Party establishments or wealthy donors to select and elevate candidates into office that represent their own interests.