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82-year-old U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is running for reelection to a fourth term

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Eighty-two-year-old liberal U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced Monday that he is running for re-election, saying American democracy is in question during difficult times for the country and the world.

Sanders, seeking a fourth Senate term, is an independent. He was a Democratic congressman for 16 years and still caucuses with the Democrats.

In an announcement video, he said that in many ways the 2024 election “is the most consequential election in our lifetimes.”

“Will the United States continue to even function as a democracy, or will we move to an authoritarian form of government?” he said in his video message. He questioned whether the country will reverse what he called “the unprecedented level of income and wealth inequality” and if it can create a government that works for all, and a political system not dominated by wealthy campaign contributors.

“I have been, and will be if re-elected, in a strong position to provide the kind of help that Vermonters need in these difficult times,” Sanders said in a review of his positions as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team, as well as a senior member of various other committees.

On a current controversial topic, Sanders, who has been critical of the war in Gaza, said Israel has the right to defend itself against the Oct. 7, “horrific” attack and hostage taking by the terrorist organization Hamas “but 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.”

“In my view, U.S. taxpayers should not be providing billions more to the extremist Netanyahu government to continue its devastating war against the Palestinian people,” he said.

The Associated Press

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