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Independent Vermont Senator draws challenger in re-election bid

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March 15, 2012

Sen. Bernie Sanders was first elected in 2006 after serving 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

By Lauren Rodgers

BURLINGTON, VT: Bernie Sanders, one of two independents in the U.S. Senate, will likely be challenged by Republican John MacGovern in his re-election bid this year. Sanders first joined the Senate in 2006, and served previously in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991. Though he was elected as an independent candidate, he is a self-described democratic socialist[1] and a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

MacGovern is currently the President of the Hanover Institute, a non-profit organization of, by and for Dartmouth Alumni.[2] MacGovern served four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives before moving to Vermont but has failed twice to win election to the Vermont State Senate.

MacGovern acknowledges that unseating Sanders, a veteran politician with a wide base of support among Democrats, Progressives and independents alike, will be difficult. He intends to focus, for the moment, on raising money and spreading the word about his candidacy.[3][4]

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