Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at the Claremont Opera House on February 2, 2016 in Claremont, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire primary is February 9. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders biography

Bernie Sanders is a second-term senator from Vermont. He won re-election in 2012 by a large margin, 71 percent of the vote. He had served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. 

Sanders was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. His father immigrated from Poland when he was only 17. His mother graduated from high school in New York City, according to his official biography.

  • Attended James Madison High School. 
  • Attended Brooklyn College before transferring to the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1964, according to Biography.
  • Moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and documentary filmmaker. 
  • 1981- Elected mayor Burlington by 10 votes. He would be elected three more times.
  • 1990 - Became first independent elected as Vermont's only congressman, beating the incumbent. He caucused with Democrats, according to Biography.
  • 1991 - Voted against the measure that gave President George H.W. Bush the authorization to use military force in the Gulf War.
  • 1993 - Voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • 1996 - Voted against the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • 1999 - Became the first member of Congress to take seniors across the border to Canada to buy low-cost prescription drugs. He continues to sponsor the trips today.
  • 2001 - voted against the USA Patriot Act and voted against it when the law came up for re-authorization in 2006 and 2011.
  • 2006 - Sanders beat Rich Tarrant to be elected to the U.S. Senate. He was running as an independent but was supported by the state's Democratic Party.
  • 2015 - Announces candidacy for Democratic nomination for president.

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