San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon was one of the first major Californian leaders to endorse Bernie Sanders way back in October.
“The 2016 election cycle was challenging for all of us,” announced Harmon in an October tweet. “Instead of getting mad I took Bernie’s advice and came home and ran for office. I was honored to be elected mayor of San Luis Obispo by 46 votes. Now, in our community, we are turning protests into policies to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative place for all. This is why I’m endorsing Bernie. He is in alignment with my values and the values of those and that put people over profit. He has a lifelong commitment to prioritizing people, planet, and a shared prosperity.”
“He has been a voice and a leader on the social, economic, gender and environmental justice issues I care about. I trust him to be the leader we need now more than ever,” added Harmon in the same tweet.
Harmon has been a longtime Sanders supporter. Before becoming Mayor of San Luis Obispo, she was a Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and has credited Sanders for inspiring her to run for mayor. She even went as far to say in a recent interview that “In many ways, I wouldn’t be mayor of San Luis Obispo if it wasn’t for Bernie.” It has also been somewhat reciprocal: Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, publicly supported Harmon’s bid for Mayor several years ago.
But, as Harmon said, it isn’t admiration. San Luis Obispo residents have made housing, healthcare, and environmental issues as some of their top concerns, and Sanders campaign has been vocal about all three. Although SLO and the surrounding area only slightly teeter Democratic in terms of registered voters, he has nonetheless proved to be popular here, as evidenced by Harmon being elected as a big Bernie Sanders supporter.
In 2020, Harmon’s support may help bring a swing-area more to Bernie’s side for an extra delegate or two, and perhaps help out Harmon in a race of her own later on down the line.
California’s Primary is Tuesday March 3, 2020.