PROVIDENCE — US Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate, on Thursday endorsed three progressive Democratic candidates in Rhode Island – David A. Segal for the 2nd Congressional District seat, Matt Brown for governor, and Cynthia Mendes for lieutenant governor.
“At this critical moment in history, we need political leaders who have the courage to stand up boldly to established power and big money interests and fight for the needs of working people,” Sanders said in a statement. “I urge the people of Rhode Island to make their voices heard and elect progressive candidates up and down the ballot this Tuesday who are fighting for change – real change.”
Segal, a former state representative and Providence City Council member, is running in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the congressional seat the US Representative James R. Langevin is vacating. He faces Seth Magaziner, Sarah E. Morgenthau, Joy Fox, and Omar Bah.
“David Segal is one of those leaders we need in Congress,” Sanders said. “As a legislator and as a grassroots organizer, he has been a champion in taking on corporate interests, breaking up big monopolies, and demanding that health be considered as a human right, not a privilege. I know he will bring that fighting spirit to Congress, and I’m proud to endorse him to represent the people of Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District.”
Brown, a former Rhode Island secretary of state, is running in a Democratic primary for governor against Governor Daniel J. McKee, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, former CVS executive Helena B. Foulkes, and Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz.
Mendes, a state senator from East Providence, is running in a Democratic primary for lieutenant governor against Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos and state Representative Deborah L. Ruggiero.
“Matt Brown and Cynthia Mendes are the clear progressive choices for Rhode Islanders,” Sanders said. “As community organizers and elected officials, they have fought for truly affordable housing and public transportation, Medicare for All, and raising the minimum wage. I’m proud to endorse Matt and Cynthia for governor and lieutenant governor of Rhode Island.”
Brown said he was honored to have Sanders’ support.
“No one has done more to lift up those who have been left behind and build the movement to usher in a progressive era in this country,” he said. “He’s inspired millions of Americans, including me.”
Mendes said Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign was one of the things that inspired her to run for office.
“He has consistently stood with working people and is unrelenting in highlighting the influence of corporate money in our political system,” she said. “We’re thrilled to have his endorsement, and we look forward to working alongside him to build the progressive movement in Rhode Island and across the country.”
Segal said, “Bernie recognizes that ours is the only campaign focused on taking on the corporate special interests and political corruption that rule the day in Washington. We need to fix our system and overcome those forces in order to make progress on issues like affordability, protecting fundamental rights, Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and so many more.”
Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.