Leahy endorses Sanders for president

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday endorsed his colleague Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.) for president, hours after Sanders announced his candidacy.

“We have a strong field of candidates, and Bernie’s entry makes the field even stronger," Leahy said in a statement. "Bernie and I had a great talk today. I’m proud to support my fellow Vermonter, a proven leader with a strong message.”
 
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Leahy's endorsement of Sanders comes after he endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE in the 2016 Democratic primary rather than Sanders. Sanders also challenged Leahy for his Senate seat decades ago, running on the Liberty Union ticket in 1974, according to the Vermont newspaper Seven Days.
 
Sanders said earlier Tuesday that he would be running for president, entering a crowded primary field that includes several of his Senate colleagues, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message De Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Buttigieg condemns 'voices on Fox' for spreading 'fear' and 'lies' ahead of town hall appearance MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Klobuchar: Trump plan doesn't deal with 'comprehensive immigration issue' Buttigieg condemns 'voices on Fox' for spreading 'fear' and 'lies' ahead of town hall appearance MORE (D-Minn.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Sanders pledges to only nominate Supreme Court justices that support Roe v. Wade From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam MORE (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg jokes about holding town hall same night as 'Game of Thrones' finale Buttigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Warren offers to help Twitter user with her love life MORE (D-Mass.). 
 
In addition to Leahy, Sanders on Tuesday received the endorsement of Vermont Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchBernie Sanders is hypocritical on most significant campaign issues Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (D), who also supported Sanders in 2016.
 
“Bernie Sanders is a welcome voice in this campaign," Welch said in a statement. "He has a proven, powerful, and compelling message of economic fairness and environmental justice that will resonate across America. I will support my friend and fellow Vermonter for president in 2020.”