Bernie Sanders endorses Tom Perriello for Virginia governor

bernie sanderstom perrielloU.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Tom Perriello today in the Virginia governor’s race.

Sanders pointed to Tom’s bold agenda to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, oppose fracked gas pipelines, and reject corporate contributions from big utilities as examples of Perriello’s willingness to take on a broken system on behalf of working families.

“We need to elect progressives at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump Administration and its Republican allies. Now more than ever we need people in elected office who will fight for middle-income and working families. That’s why I am so pleased today to endorse Tom Perriello for Governor of Virginia,” said Sanders. “Tom is committed to fighting the rigged economy and income inequality. He was the first major statewide candidate in Virginia to run on a $15 minimum wage and the first to say two years of community college should be tuition-free. He is standing up to fossil fuel corporations and special interests in opposing two fracked gas pipelines that would cut across Virginia. He thrust criminal justice reform and ending our school-to-prison pipeline to the forefront of the race. At a time when the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are fighting to destroy the Affordable Care Act, Tom is one who fought hard for its passage when he was a member of Congress. He is a committed progressive who will stand up for working families in Richmond.”

Sanders’ endorsement follows ten Sanders delegates to the Democratic National Convention backing Tom in an email in March, in which they said, “Tom understands the importance of resisting Trump and the Republican Party’s extreme policies and is fighting for and standing with our brothers and sisters under attack by this administration, including women, immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community. He’s been there on the frontlines with us protesting in the streets and at the airports and we know he’ll fight for us every single day as our next Governor.”

Sanders has been at the forefront of the resistance to President Trump’s disastrous agenda — and has been leading the effort to expose Trump as a fraud to the Americans who helped elect him. Sanders has hammered Trump’s failure to address the opioid crisis as president and continues to point out how Trump is empowering Goldman Sachs executives to lead economic policy in his administration — ignoring the pain felt by millions of Americans because of job loss from globalization.

“Bernie Sanders has spent his career fighting for working families against a rigged system,” said Perriello. “We need to unite the Democratic Party behind an agenda of inclusive economic growth, that leaves no community, race, or region behind. That starts with raising wages, taking on corporate consolidation in the economy, and making two years of community college debt-free. Bernie has electrified a movement of Americans ready to take on our biggest challenges, including inequality and corruption, and I’m proud to have his support in my campaign.”

Sanders’ endorsement demonstrates Tom’s unique ability to unify Democrats behind a bold, progressive agenda that sharply contrasts with Republicans in the fall. The endorsement follows previous endorsements by thirty former Obama aides and officials and by John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

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