Bernie Sanders puts his stamp on the Berkeley
mayor’s race this fall.

BERKELEY | Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, the darling of progressives nationwide, is endorsing Jesse Arreguin for mayor of Berkeley.

“Berkeley is known across the country and the world as a progressive, trailblazing city. And so Berkeley needs a truly progressive Mayor,” said Sanders. “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’s campaign called the surprise endorsement a “remarkable development” and “an absolute, no doubt about it game-changer.”

Berkeley Councilmember Jesse Arreguin

Arreguin, who also serves on the Berkeley City Council, is vying this November along with councilmembers—Laurie Capitelli and Kriss Worthington—and five others to replace the retiring Mayor Tom Bates in Berkeley.

Arreguin is one of 100 local candidates across the country to have received Sanders’ backing this fall, according to Arreguin’s campaign.

“Sen. 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,” said Arreguin. “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.”

Sanders’ rock star status among progressives in Berkeley and the the East Bay has the potential to greatly differentiate Arreguin from the field of candidates.

For the former presidential candidate who fell just short of upsetting nominee Hillary Clinton this year, Sanders is hoping a successful foray as kingmaker in local politics may also foster a lasting legacy in places like Berkeley.