Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in an interview with NH1 News in March in Concord, NH

Apr 28, 2015 10:46 PM

First on NH1 News: Sanders to NH after launching 2016 campaign

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – After announcing a White House run, Bernie Sanders is heading to New Hampshire.

The senator from Vermont will travel to the first-in-the-nation primary state this weekend, just two days after Sanders is expected to launch a campaign for the Democratic presidential campaign, NH1 News has learned. Sanders is expected to attend a house party in Manchester and a union gathering in Conway. Sanders has made numerous trips to the first-in-the-nation primary state since last autumn, the most recent just a week and a half ago.

NH1 News confirmed Tuesday that the independent senator who caucuses with Senate Democrats will announce Thursday that he’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders’ launch is expected to be a low-key affair, with just a statement being released, followed by a round of media interviews.

Sanders, who served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2006, will be considered a very long shot for the nomination against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who launched her campaign two and a half weeks ago. But for Granite State progressives who’ve been hoping for someone to give Clinton a fight for the nomination, Sanders’ announcement is very good news.

“I welcome Sen. Sanders to the Democratic primary for his passionate commitment to working families, labor, and economic fairness. He also brings a compelling message about campaign finance reform. His decision to run as a Democrat is a vote of confidence in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary as a big tent for a full range of ideas up for debate. His presence will ensure a vigorous debate and grassroots campaigning,” State Sen. David Watters told NH1 News.

Progressive activist and radio talk show host Arnie Arnesen said “finally a working man's liberal has thrown his name into the ring. He has been the champion of the American worker his whole life, from his years as Mayor of Burlington Vermont to his time in both the House and Senate. He never forgot who he was and what the term economic justice means.”

“And he has a record to prove it, not a bunch of platitudes that sound sort of populist, but with no record to support it,” Arnesen added.

Sanders is an outspoken critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that President Barack Obama’s negotiating with 11 Pacific countries. He’s also a major critic of the Supreme Court ruling that struck down corporate campaign contribution limits.

Sanders is expected to run to the left of Clinton. While he’s criticized Clinton as being too soft on big business and Wall Street, he told NH1 News in March that "I'm not interested in Hillary Clinton. I'll tell you why. If I run it's not Hillary Clinton. That's media stuff. The issue that I'm running about is the decline of the American middle class."

The New Hampshire Democratic Party welcomed Sanders to the race for their party's nomination.

“We welcome Senator Sanders to the New Hampshire presidential primary. New Hampshire Democrats are excited to meet the candidates and hear about how we can build on the economic progress we’ve made over the past six years and continue to expand opportunities for New Hampshire’s middle class families," said Chairman Ray Buckley, in a statement.

Word of Sanders' Thursday announcement was first reported by Vermont Public Radio.

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