Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) released a statement Tuesday saying he is "very proud" of his son, Levi Sanders, who a day earlier launched a bid for Congress in New Hampshire’s first congressional district, but the senator stopped short of offering an endorsement.
Bernie Sanders argued his son would be running his own campaign with "his own ideas," according to the Washington Examiner.
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"I am very proud of Levi’s commitment to public service and his years of work on behalf of low income and working people," he said. "Levi will be running his own campaign, in his own way, with his own ideas. The decision as to who to vote for will be determined by the people of New Hampshire’s first district, and nobody else."
Bernie Sanders said his son will be running on "his own ideas," but at least one New Hampshire political analyst, Dean Spiliotes, has argued Levi will be running on the "family political brand." The elder Sanders is a progressive star after his surprisingly strong run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, in which he won the New Hampshire primary.
Levi becomes the eighth candidate to enter an already crowded Democratic primary for the district's congressional seat.
Former political consultants for the elder Sanders have largely joined State Rep. Mark MacKenzie's (D.) campaign, making Spiliotes curious about how Bernie Sanders' 2016 supporters will vote in this primary. At least one former Sanders presidential-campaign consultant expressed disapproval of Levi's decision to ABC News.
Bernie Sanders has yet to declare his plans for 2020 as he prepares to release his book "Where We Go From Here" just eight days after the 2018 election. His goal for the book is to "strengthen the progressive movement," and it will come at a time when Democratic presidential hopefuls will be declaring their intentions for the 2020 race.