There could soon be another Sanders in our political future.
Levi Sanders, the son of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), announced on Monday that he’s running for Congress in New Hampshire.
The 48-year-old candidate is the eighth Democrat throwing his hat in the ring for the state’s 1st District House seat, Sanders said in a statement posted to his campaign website.
“After much thought and consultation with my family, friends and the people of New Hampshire, I am excited to announce today that I am running for Congress,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity to listen to the hard-working men and women of New Hampshire about the issues that matter to them.”
An apparent chip off the old block, Sanders supports a “Medicare-for-all health care system,” a higher minimum wage, equal pay for women, tuition-free college and “sensible gun legislation.” He also believes that it’s “urgent” to address the opioid epidemic, which has reached a “crisis” in his state.
Appearing to channel his father, Levi Sanders vowed “to demand that we have a system which represents the 99 percent and not the 1 percent who have never had it so good.”
When quizzed about any differences between his politics and his dad’s, Sanders told Vice that, “the basic difference is that I’m a vegetarian and he’s not.”
Sanders actually lives in the district adjacent to the one he’s hoping to represent. The 1st District congressional seat is currently held by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who is not seeking re-election.
It’s expected to be a highly competitive race among both Democrats and Republicans. Some of the groups who supported the elder Sanders during his 2016 presidential run have already lined up behind Democratic state Rep. Mark MacKenzie.
The younger Sanders has never held public office, but he has worked at his father’s side, including as his senior aide during the 2016 campaign.
He has also worked as an analyst for a Massachusetts Legal Services office for 17 years, representing the “working class, who have been beaten up by the system,” he notes. Sanders has advocated for clients on Social Security disability insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, among other programs, according to what appears to be his LinkedIn page.
He is married to neuropsychologist Raine Riggs. They have three children adopted from China.
Levi’s stepsister, Carina Driscoll, has just announced that she is running for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, where Bernie Sanders used to be mayor.