Vermont Congressman Leads Run for Senate
By ROSS SNEYD
The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 11, 2006; 5:40 PM
BURLINGTON, Vt. — For three decades, Rep. Bernie Sanders has been a party of one, an avowed socialist who rails against corporate America, Republicans, Democrats and all those he believes fail the poor and working families. Now 65, the Brooklyn-born independent and his crusade could end up in the Senate.
Polls put Sanders comfortably ahead of Republican Richard Tarrant, a wealthy businessman who has spent more than $5 million of his own money trying to buy the name recognition Sanders enjoys after eight years as mayor of Vermont’s largest city and 16 years in the House. Sanders would succeed Sen. James Jeffords, a Republican turned independent who is retiring.
Now 65, after 16 years in the House of Representatives and eight years as mayor of Vermont’s largest city, the Brooklyn-born independent is running for the seat left open by Sen. James Jeffords, and polls put Sanders comfortably ahead of his opponent, Republican Richard Tarrant.
Sanders has forged a unique coalition during his political career, gaining the backing of Republicans, Democrats and those who believe that they’ve been ignored by the people in power.
“In my heart and soul, based on where I grew up and what my life was like as a kid, the economic issues to me are the most important,” the eight-term lawmaker said.
Sanders remains committed to the ideals of the democratic socialists of northern Europe, believing that government spending _ combined with market forces _ is the best way to achieve social justice and social equity.
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