Dem rep: 'Bernie should absolutely run again in 2020'

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) says Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Top aide Jeff Weaver lays out Sanders's path to victory MORE (I-Vt.) should “absolutely” run for president in 2020. 

“I might be the first member of Congress to say this: Bernie should absolutely run again in 2020!” Khanna tweeted Monday. 

Sanders narrowly lost the Democratic presidential primary to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE last year after rising from near-obscurity to win 23 states.

Khanna told CNN that if he ran again in 2020, this time around Sanders would have the advantage of the support of more elected officials and the party apparatus.

"If you look at from the perspective of anyone in the past, if they come that close to the nomination, they'd almost be the de facto nominee the next time. I don't think he should be anointed — we shouldn't make the mistake of 2016 again — but absolutely he should run,” Khanna said. 

Sanders has replied to frequent queries about 2020 by saying it’s a too early to be talking about it. 

"His focus right now is on defeating Trump's disastrous agenda,” a spokesman told CNN. “To defeat the Republican health care bill that would take health care away from 23 million people and on advancing a progressive agenda to help working families across the country."

Khanna, a freshman lawmaker, represents the heart of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco area.