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Sanders Challenger Files Election Complaint on Eve of Vermont Democratic Primary

Sen. Bernie Sanders / Getty Images
• August 14, 2018 6:15 pm

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Folasade Adeluola, a self-described "Obamacrat activist" challenging Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.) in the Democratic Senate primary, has filed an elections complaint saying Sanders is not a "true candidate" for the Democratic Party's nomination.

Adeluola filed the complaint on Monday with the Vermont Secretary of State's office, one day before primary voters head to the polls to decide party nominees for state and federal offices ahead of the general election in November, according to VTDigger.org.

The basis of Adeluola's complaint is that Sanders, who has routinely waged a campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination for Senate only to decline it upon winning the primary and running as an independent, is working to "game" the system by limiting his opposition.

"The regularity of Sanders infidelity to the Democrat party and the Vermont Primary process flies in the face of the clear intent of Vermont’s constitutional demand that ‘elections ought to be free and without corruption in electing officers to their government," Adeluola wrote in her complaint.

Adeluola is petitioning the secretary fo state to invalidate Sanders' candidacy and anoint her, the only other Democrat on the ballot, as the party's nominee.

Although she favors similar policy proposals as the self-described Democratic socialist Sanders, Adeluola has accused the 76-year-old senator of being "corrupted" after spending almost four decades in elected office.

"Why I call him corrupted is that he has been having his way in Vermont for so long, to a point where he controls this state, and people like me aren’t given a chance," Adeluola said.

She has also criticized Sanders, who mounted a strong campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination, for being too preoccupied with presidential politics, rather than the interest of his state's residents.

"He is cruising around the nation campaigning for 2020 instead of doing the right thing for Vermonters," Adeluola said.

Since losing the Democratic nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sanders has raised his profile in the Democratic Party by traveling the country to endorse candidates and causes. However, he has avoided becoming a member of the party.

It remains unlikely that Adeluola's complaint will be successful since Vermont's Democratic secretary of state Jim Condos backed Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. Condos also certified Sanders the winner of the Democratic nomination for Senate in 2012, a nomination the senator refused.