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Gravel endorses Bernie Sanders after suspending campaign

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) has thrown his support behind Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief says congressional progressives looking to become stronger force in 2021 Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom MORE (I-Vt.) for president days after suspending his own presidential bid. 

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"I am proud and honored to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the presidency of the United States," the former Alaska senator said in a video posted to Twitter. 

"He will be a great president for all Americans," Gravel added. "We have a simple choice: We can have a democratic socialism of Bernie Sanders to benefit all Americans, or we can have Republican socialism, which benefits the 1 percent and leads us to a constant state of war."

Sanders thanked Gravel for the endorsement in a tweet. 

"Thank you Senator Gravel. Together we will end forever wars, fight for an economy that works for all of us, and bring millions of people into the political process," Sanders said. 

Gravel will also advocate for Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii), his campaign said in a statement.

In the statement, Gravel said that Gabbard would "be an excellent president of the United States, or vice president, whichever the circumstances permit.” 

Gravel's campaign manager David Oks told The Hill in a statement that the former senator had always planned to end his campaign after the summer debates. 

"Actually contesting primaries and caucuses was never in the plan, as the point of this campaign is to push the party left and advocate against American imperialism and wars," he said. 

Gravel had previously announced he was ending his long-shot presidential campaign and would start a leftist think tank.

“The DNC kept us off the stage tonight even though we qualified, but the #Gravelanche is not over. We're gonna keep going,” Gravel's campaign said in a series of tweets. “As the campaign ends, we're going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul.”

Sanders is among the front-runners in the crowded Democratic field. 

The RealClearPolitics average of polls currently has the Vermont senator in second place with 16 percent of the vote, trailing only former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska Jeff Daniels narrates new Biden campaign ad for Michigan MORE in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

-- Updated at 11:43 a.m.