Despite a push by some Democrats that he fully commit to the party, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont confirmed Sunday night that he will remain an Independent as he seeks re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018.
“I am an independent and I have always run in Vermont as an independent. While I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate,” Sanders said during an interview with FOX News. “That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
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Last week it surfaced that a member of the DNC had introduced a resolution calling for Independents who caucus with the Democrats to either “register or affiliate with the Democratic Party” in 2018 for their re-election bids. Currently Sanders and Sen. Angus King of Maine are the only two members of the Senate who do so. That resolution was voted down by party members on Friday. Sanders is the longest serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress.
Though Sanders ran in the 2016 presidential as a Democrat he switched his party affiliation back to Independent soon after his primary defeat to Hillary Clinton. Sanders, who remains the nation’s most popular lawmaker from any party, has not said whether or not he will run for president again in 2020, but has not taken the possibility off the table.