Bernie Sanders will be the first potential 2020 presidential candidate (of many) to grace the corn fields of Iowa. The Vermont Independent will campaign in Iowa's 3rd Congressional district for his former aide, Pete D’Alessandro, who helped Sanders come within just several tenths of a point of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.
D'Alessandro is, in turn, taking a page from Bernie's 2016 platform, running on promises of Medicare for all, a living wage, and lots of free things that he can't quite explain who will pay for.
“Bernie knows that we need bold, progressive leaders in Congress if we’re going to change the direction of our country,” D'Alessandro told the Des Moines Register in an interview this week. “That’s why I’m proudly supporting Medicare for All, a $15/hour living wage, and free college tuition for those who work hard. We can take our country back and continue the movement Bernie started here in 2016."
Bernie Sanders ultimately lost the Iowa Caucuses in 2016, but not before giving Clinton an unexpected run for her money — and not before launching himself into a Democratic primary that was far more competitive than anyone realistically predicted.
It may be early to be thinking about 2020, but as he inches toward 80 years old, Sanders doesn't have time to lose and an early start pressing the flesh with the people of Iowa can't hurt, particularly in anticipation of what will be a crowded Democratic field. Besides Bernie, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren are expected to throw their hats into the ring, as should Sen. Kamala Harris.
Many of those lawmakers have progressive bona fides and the added bonus of identifying as Democrats. Despite leading the party further to the left during the 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders refused to many an official switch and remains a professional Independent.