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Bernie Sanders' son eyeing run for seat being vacated by Shea-Porter in New Hampshire

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

February 23. 2018 1:45PM
Bernie Sanders pumps his fists as he arrives with his wife Jane and son Levi (R) at his Super Tuesday rally in Burlington, Vt., in this 2016 file photo. (Reuters)



CLAREMONT — The only biological child of 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary winner and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he’s seriously looking at joining the crowded Democratic field in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District race.

Levi Sanders told VICE News Thursday that he’s edging toward getting into this competitive primary that will choose who replaces as nominee Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., who will not be seeking a fifth term this fall.

“Oh absolutely, I’m definitely considering it. I’m excited, motivated, and interested in the race,” Levi Sanders said. “I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s.”

If he runs, the younger Sanders said he’d adopt many of the chief campaign themes that his father championed during his 2016 White House campaign, including free college tuition and Medicare-style health care for all.

Sanders, 48, serves as an analyst for Cambridge and Somerville (Mass.) Legal Services and lives in Claremont, which is not in the 1st District.

Members of Congress have to live in the state but not in the district that they represent.

There are already six declared Democratic candidates in the hunt, including Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, former AFL-CIO president Mark McKenzie, both of Manchester; former Obama administration official Maura Sullivan of Portsmouth; State Rep. Mindy Messner of Rye, ex-Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati of Somersworth; and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke of Alton.

State Sen. Andy Sanborn of Bedford, Carroll County Commissioner Mark Hounsell of Conway and former liquor law enforcement chief Eddie Edwards of Dover are the only declared Republican hopefuls. Former GOP state Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry of Dover hasn’t ruled out his own primary campaign.

Rumors about the younger Sanders getting into this race have been in the air for a few months.

And while considering it, Levi Sanders has spoken to supporters of his father’s presidential campaign here.

The younger Sanders also has been outspoken in recent weeks about the fact his father might mount another presidential bid in 2020.

Bernie Sanders’ first and only biological child with ex-girlfriend Susan Campbell Mott, Levi Sanders was a senior policy strategist on his father’s bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and a consultant on his 2006 run for the U.S. Senate.

Levi Sanders was not a constant fixture throughout his father’s 2016 primary here, however.

He did show up for prominent events, including the primary night victory party celebrating Bernie Sanders’ rout in New Hampshire over eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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