‘This time, [Bernie Sanders] starts off as a front-runner, or one of the front-runners…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Democratic National Committee plans to meet with each 2020 candidate next week to hand out an “affirmation form,” which will affirm they will run and serve as members of the Democratic Party, according to a DNC official.
The DNC’s announcement came right after democratic socialist Bernie Sanders—an independent who caucuses with the congressional Democrats—entered the 2020 field.
Sanders ran in in 2016 as a Democrat even though he wasn’t an official member of the party.
The new rule, passed in August by DNC members, requires candidates to “affirm in writing” that they “are a member of the Democratic Party, will accept the Democratic nomination; will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.”
Candidates already in the race or in the process of forming an exploratory committee will be briefed on the new affirmation rule and other materials next week, the DNC official told CNN.
“As any additional candidates enter the race, they will be provided with the same information and will be required to return the form in the same time frame,” the official said.
Sanders is already a front-runner in the primary field, sitting right behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
The DNC could be threatened by Sanders’ campaign, which will likely be even bigger than his 2016 one.
“This time, he starts off as a front-runner, or one of the front-runners,” Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver said.
But Sanders isn’t the only radical progressive in the field anymore.
He’s up against outspoken liberals like Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.—both of whom have endorsed socialist policies like Sanders’ Medicare-for-All plan, a $15 minimum wage and the Green New Deal.
Sanders already has more support than he did four years ago.
Both Democratic members of his state’s congressional delegation, Sen. Pat Leahy and Rep. Pete Welch, endorsed him.
And according to a campaign official, Sanders raised more than $3 million after he announced his presidential bid.