DNC votes down resolution demanding Sanders, King join Dem Party

DNC votes down resolution demanding Sanders, King join Dem Party
© Greg Nash

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday voted down a resolution calling for Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (I-Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees MORE (I-Maine) to run as Democrats when they seek reelection in 2018.

The resolution failed to gain the simple majority support it needed in the DNC's Resolution Committee to advance to a vote in general session at the party's fall meeting in Las Vegas, according to The Washington Post.

The resolution, sponsored by California DNC member Bob Mulholland, argued that “a strong and unified Democratic party … puts us in the best position to win elections.” It went on to urge the two independent senators to “register or affiliate with the Democratic Party in 2017, 2018 and beyond.”

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Sanders, a self-described "democratic socialist," is considered a possible contender for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, and some party members have remained uneasy about the prospect of embracing a candidate who refuses to call himself a Democrat.

While both Sanders and King caucus with the Democrats, Sanders has called for the party to embrace independents. 

Sanders' affiliation hit a sore spot last year when the Vermont senator sought the Democratic presidential nomination against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to know about Boris Johnson Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike MORE, who eventually became the party's nominee. 

Sanders conceded the Democratic nomination shortly before the party's 2016 national convention. But the senator's supporters expressed outrage after leaked DNC emails revealed that party leaders sought to tip the primary contest in Clinton's favor.

Had the resolution passed, it would not have forced Sanders or King to run as Democrats. King told CNN in an interview on Tuesday that he had no intention of running under a party banner when he seeks reelection next year.

“I’ve been an independent since the early nineties. I was a governor as an independent," he said. "That’s who I am."