By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Saying that person-to-person contact wins elections, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders filed to run for first-in-the-nation Democratic primary for president of the United States on Thursday.
After handing Secretary of State Bill Gardner a check for $1,000 and promising it would not bounce, the 78-year-old Brooklyn native said he owes New Hampshire “a deep debt of gratitude” for propelling the ideas and ideals of his campaign four years ago when he ran in the primary and won New Hampshire.
“In my view,” Sanders said, “At the end of the day what wins an election is the kind of grassroots activism you have.”
The most recent CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire found Sanders at 21 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 18 pecent, and Joe Biden dropped to 15 percent.
Sanders said the political, economic and media establishments four years ago thought his ideas were “so radical” that they would never fly.
Those were health-care for all “as a human right,” raising the minimum wage to $15, making colleges and public universities tuition-free, and about fighting climate change among other ideas.
It led to over 13 million votes for Sanders. But in the end, he lost the nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sanders said he has done more than 30 rallies in the state, has about 6,000 volunteers and “we take nothing for granted.”
“We don’t have a super PAC,” separating himself from candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, “We don’t want one. But we have more donations than any other candidate in the history of elections.”
He also told reporters that he differs from Biden on his position of health-care for all. Sanders said the campaign has over 1 million donors whose average gift is $16 and counting. Sanders said we need more young people to get involved in politics, and fortunately, two of every three young adults are politically progressive.
“I want younger people to know they are the future of America and if they are concerned about student debt…homophobia…climate change they must get involved in the political process,” he said.