Bernie Sanders announces he will seek re-election

MONTPELIER, VT — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Monday he will seek re-election this year, with a formal kickoff in June as he angles for a third term.

“The 2018 midterm elections will be a pivotal moment in our country’s history, and we must fight for an agenda that works for working people,” Sanders said in a statement.

Following his his insurgent but ultimately unsuccessful bid to capture the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders has used his increased influence to champion his preferred policies and argue in favor of reshaping the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction, explicitly opposed to corporate influence and interests.

In his statement, Sanders listed off a slew of priorities he has publicly championed, including a national minimum wage of $15 an hour, a “Medicare for all single payer program” and free tuition at public colleges.

Sanders, an independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats, won his bid for Senate in 2006 and re-election in 2012 by overwhelming margins, according to the Vermont secretary of state’s election archive.

Sanders, 76, was named to a leadership position among Senate Democrats after the party’s losses in the 2016 election.