IA-03: Bernie Sanders backing Pete D'Alessandro

Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gave Pete D’Alessandro, one of seven Democrats running for Congress in Iowa’s third district, his “strongest” endorsement on January 29, Jason Noble reported for the Des Moines Register.

“Pete has spent his entire career fighting for working families and as a champion of progressive values, and I’m convinced that he would be an unwavering advocate in Congress for the people of Iowa,” Sanders said in a statement released by the campaign. “Whether it’s supporting Medicare for All, a $15/hour minimum wage, or bold action to fight climate change, Pete D’Alessandro has proven that he is the right choice for people disgusted by what goes on in Washington.”

A longtime campaign operative making his first run for elective office, D’Alessandro was the state coordinator for Sanders before the 2016 Iowa caucuses. Previous endorsers of his Congressional bid included Sanders’ national campaign manager Jeff Weaver and Our Revolution, the organization that grew out of the Sanders movement.

Depending on how actively he engages his base, the senator from Vermont could help D’Alessandro raise substantial funds before the June 5 primary election. Sanders supporters are still very active in Iowa Democratic social media circles. The senator also remains visible to Iowans who get their political commentary the old-fashioned way; he appeared on at least one Sunday morning television show 21 out of 52 weeks in 2017.

Today’s endorsement comes exactly one week before caucuses where Iowa Democratic activists will elect county convention delegates. I don’t expect many precincts in IA-03 to divide into preference groups based on the Congressional race–as Bleeding Heartland discussed here, it’s more likely Democrats will seek to caucus for the gubernatorial candidate of their choice. That said, the county convention delegates chosen on February 5 will elect district and state convention delegates in late March. If no candidate running for Congress in IA-03 receives at least 35 percent of the primary vote, a district convention later in June will select a nominee to face two-term Representative David Young.

D’Alessandro’s campaign released this statement a few hours after the Des Moines Register published Noble’s story:

U.S. SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS GIVES STRONG ENDORSEMENT TO PETE D’ALESSANDRO FOR CONGRESS

Endorsement Ads Key Momentum to D’Alessandro Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders today enthusiastically endorsed Pete D’Alessandro in Iowa’s Third Congressional District, citing his commitment to fighting for progressive values and working families in the district.

Statement from Senator Bernie Sanders:

“I got to know Pete D’Alessandro well in 2015 and 2016 when he helped lead my grassroots presidential primary campaign in Iowa. Pete has spent his entire career fighting for working families and as a champion of progressive values, and I’m convinced that he would be an unwavering advocate in Congress for the people of Iowa. Whether it’s supporting Medicare for All, a $15/hour minimum wage, or bold action to fight climate change, Pete D’Alessandro has proven that he is the right choice for people disgusted by what goes on in Washington. That’s why I’m proud to give my strongest endorsement to Pete’s campaign for Congress in Iowa’s Third District.”

Statement from Pete D’Alessandro:

“I’m honored and excited to have Senator Sanders’ support in this race. Bernie Sanders is a political hero to thousands and of Iowa citizens and his endorsement will be a major boost to my campaign. Traveling with him across Iowa, I saw thousands of people energized by his progressive agenda and commitment to changing the direction of our country. With his support, we will continue to build a progressive, grassroots campaign and we will win.”

  • Outside endorsements are counter productive for me.

    After see some other recent races go south despite non-Iowan’s “helping” certain candidates, I’m very negative about them trying to influence our selection of candidates. Let’s get to know the nominees ourselves and pick the best one based on their qualifications, what they advocate, and how they can appeal to the electorate.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.