Sen. Bernie Sanders is endorsing 15th Assembly District candidate Jovanka Beckles, after all. Beckles’ campaign announced the pivotal endorsement by the darling of the progressive movement two days after he spoke at a rally in Berkeley on Saturday.
“While in Berkeley, I had the chance to meet with Jovanka Beckles, and I was impressed by her commitment to progressive values,” said Sanders. ”
“In the State Assembly, she will fight for Medicare for all, a living wage for all California workers, environmental justice and criminal justice reform. I’m proud to support Jovanka Beckles in the 15th Assembly district.”
Sanders made no mention of Beckles in his Saturday remarks, but earlier mentions of Beckles in speeches from Rep. Barbara Lee and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín elicited heavy applause.
It’s unclear why the announcement was not made in tandem with Sanders’ high-profile appearance over the weekend. The Vermont senator has made recent appearances in other progressive strongholds around the country in an effort many believe is a tour re-ignite his base in an advance of another run for president in two years.
If Sanders has any residual antipathy remaining toward his former Democratic presidential primary rival Hillary Clinton, the endorsement of Beckles might serve to alleviate it.
Beckles’ opponent in the 15th District race is Buffy Wicks, who was Clinton’s 2016 California campaign manager. Her role in the Democratic primary subsequent led supporters and detractors in this assembly campaign to labeling her, “Buffy the Bernie Slayer.”