DNC panel adopts rule requiring candidates to run, serve as a Democrat

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) adopted a new rule on Friday aimed at keeping outsider candidates like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.) from trying to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

The new rule, adopted by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, requires all Democratic presidential candidates to be a member of the Democratic Party, Yahoo News reported

A presidential candidate running for the Democratic nomination must be a member of the party, accept the Democratic nomination and “run and serve” as a member.

Sanders, who has maintained his status as an independent, fought a tough primary race for the Democratic nomination against eventual presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE in 2016.

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A source familiar with the discussions told Yahoo News, however, that the rule wasn't targeted at Sanders. 

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and DNC member, posted a photo on Twitter Friday of the rules change at the meeting in Providence, R.I.

“At the time a presidential candidate announces their candidacy publicly, they must publicly affirm that they are a Democrat,” the rule says.

In March, the DNC voted to acknowledge a need to reduce the influence of so-called superdelegates in presidential primaries — the unelected delegates who may support any candidate for the party’s nomination, regardless of their state's victor.

Yahoo News reported that the committee did finalize a vote on superdelegates and will decide in August.