Sanders, 77, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, announced his candidacy in an email to supporters, pledging to build a vast grassroots movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics.
In his campaign, Sanders said he would push for many of the same issues that powered his 2016 bid and resonated with younger voters, including universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and free public college tuition.
This time around, Sanders has been among the leaders in opinion polls of prospective 2020 candidates, but he faces other liberal progressives touting many of the same ideas he brought into the party mainstream Sanders joins Democrats already in the race including fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
A former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders won a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1990, making him the first independent elected to the House in 40 years. In 2006, he won a U.S. Senate seat and in 2018 was voted in for a third six-year term.
His push against Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, was notable because few Democrats seemed inclined to challenge her claim on the nomination. Sanders’ candidacy swiftly became a phenomenon, as he spoke to swelling crowds and garnered passionate support on social media.
(Production: Kia Johnson)