In October, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin announced his endorsement of Bernie Sanders. And early on Tuesday, right before voting kicked off in California, he did it again.
“I am proud to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President,” tweeted Mayor Arreguin. “The time is now for real change in this country, and to ensure opportunity for all. Vote Today. #VoteForBernie”
Both the Mayor and the Senator share the same views on how to build more affordable housing, ending homelessness, healthcare, and numerous other issues, making such an endorsement likely. But the largest factor has been the sheer amount of mutual support each candidate has given the other.
Bernie supported Arreguin’s run for Mayor in 2016, giving him a large edge against more centrist candidates for a shock win.
“Berkeley is known across the country and the world as a progressive, trailblazing city. And so Berkeley needs a truly progressive Mayor,” stated Sanders in his endorsement. “That is why I endorse Jesse Arreguin. Jesse Arreguin will be Berkeley’s kind of Mayor. He is a tireless and effective champion for workers’ rights, for civil rights, and for social justice. He will not rest until Berkeley works for everyone, not just the few.”
Arreguin returned the favor by supporting him before he dropped out. His statement at the time following the endorsement also showed key insight into several other reasons for Arreguin’s support of Sanders.
“I am absolutely humbled beyond words to have earned the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders,” said then-Berkeley Councilman Arreguin in his own statement. “Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign inspired millions of people—many for the first time—to get involved in the political process, out of the simple belief that in this country our government belongs to all of us. Throughout Senator Sanders’ career—as a Mayor, Congressman, and United States Senator—he has never backed down from fighting for the people. It is in that spirit that I commit to serving as a Mayor for all Berkeley residents.”
Arreguin’s 2020 support also came at a time when many other Bay Area politicians were looking more at Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Joe Biden (D-DE) for the presidency. Arreguin’s endorsement kicked off a flood of support and endorsements for Sanders around the Bay and helped establish Sanders as the front runner in California in addition to large Sanders victories in three state primaries.
California’s Primary is today, Tuesday March 3, 2020.