Bernie Sanders To Snag First Congressional Endorsement

Bernie Sanders
The Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might be flush with congressional endorsements, but her surging socialist challenger is about to get one of his own.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), a co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and longtime member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is expected to endorse Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders Friday, ahead of next week’s debate in Las Vegas.

Grijalva, whose expected endorsement was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, is slated to appear with Sanders at a rally in Tucson. The Arizonian would be Sander’s first congressional endorsement.

“I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and wait for the tea leaves to be read better,” Grijalva said in an interview with the New York Times. “The positions he has taken and the values he holds are ones I share.”

In the early 1990s Sanders was an original co-founder of the Progressive Caucus Grijalva now co-chairs. Grijalva, a Mexican-American, told The Times that he hopes he can help Sanders with outreach to minority communities.

“Latino sectors of the country, African-Americans, people of color — they’re feeling the economic pain as much as anyone else,” said Mr. Grijalva, who is Mexican-American. “Bernie has good positions on immigration and education, which are fountain issues for the Latino community. There’s an opportunity to talk about those and expose the fact that Bernie is not just a one-tune candidate, which he’s not.”

The Real Clear Politics national average has Sanders at 25.2 percent compared to Clinton’s 41.6 percent. Sanders is closer to Clinton in Iowa where the RCP average has him at 31.0 percent to Clinton’s 37.3 percent. Meanwhile he is leading in New Hampshire 41.0 percent to Clinton’s 29.7 percent.