Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders.jpg
U.S. Senate, Vermont
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 8
PredecessorJames M. Jeffords (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
High schoolJames Madison High School, Brooklyn NY
Bachelor'sUniversity of Chicago
Date of birthSeptember 8, 1941
Place of birthBrooklyn, NY
Net worth$308,005
Office website
Campaign website
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (b. September 8, 1941) is an Independent member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Vermont. Sanders was first elected to the Senate in 2006. While he considers himself a Socialist[1] and ran as an Independent, he is a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus.[2]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Sanders is a "left-leaning Independent".[3]

Sanders won re-election in 2012.[4] Primary elections were held on August 28, 2012.


Sanders was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, NY, where he also attended high school. He earned his B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1964 and went on to serve on to lecture at Harvard University and Hamilton College in New York. Sanders has also worked as a carpenter and journalist.[5]

In January 2012, Sanders was named a "Top-20 US Progressive" according to The New Statesman, a magazine based in the United Kingdom. Other members of the list include Paul Krugman, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Rachel Maddow.[6]


  • Mayor of Burlington, VT, 1981-1989[7]
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1991-2007[7]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Sanders serves on the following Senate committees[8]:


Sanders served on the following Senate committees[7]:


Political positions

Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist.[9][10]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Sanders voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]



See also: United States Senate elections in Vermont, 2012

Sanders ran for re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Vermont. Sanders ran unopposed in the August 28, 2012 Democratic primary. He is also running as an Independent. He faces John MacGovern (R), Cris Ericson (United States Marijuana Party), Laurel LaFramboise (VoteKISS), Pete Diamondstone (Liberty Union), and Peter Moss (Peace and Prosperity) in the general election on November 6, 2012. [12][13]

U.S. Senate, Vermont, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Independent Green check mark transparent.pngBernie Sanders Incumbent 71.1% 207,848
     Republican John MacGovern 24.9% 72,898
     Third Cris Ericson 2% 5,924
     Third Laurel LaFramboise 0.3% 877
     Third Peter Moss 0.8% 2,452
     Third Pete Diamondstone 0.9% 2,511
Total Votes 292,510
Source: Vermont Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 7, 2006, Sanders won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Rich Tarrant (R), Cris Ericson (I), Craig Hill (Vermont Green), Pete Diamondstone (Liberty Union), Peter Moss (Anti-Bushist Candidate), and a write-in.[14]

U.S. Senate, Vermont, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Independent Green check mark transparent.pngBernard Sanders 65.4% 171,638
     Republican Rich Tarrant 32.4% 84,924
     Independent Cris Ericson 0.7% 1,735
     Vermont Green Craig Hill 0.6% 1,536
     Liberty Union Pete Diamondstone 0.3% 801
     Anti-Bushist Peter Moss 0.6% 1,518
     Write-in Write-in 0.1% 267
Total Votes 262,419

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Sanders's reports.[15]

Bernie Sanders Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 10, 2012$2,938,691.31$950,336.11$(281,427.23)$3,607,600.19
July Quarterly[17]July 12, 2012$3,607,600.19$851,033.10$(406,079.06)$4,052,554.23
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Sanders's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Sanders won election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. During that election cycle, Sanders's campaign committee raised a total of $5,554,466 and spent $6,596,060.[18]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Sanders paid his congressional staff a total of $2,395,679 in 2011. He ranks 2nd on the list of the lowest paid Independent Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranks 26th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Vermont ranks 45th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[19]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Sanders' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between -$18,986 and $634,996. That averages to $308,005, which is lower than the average net worth of Independent Senators in 2011 of $6,099,707. His average net worth decreased by 28.20% from 2010.[20]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Sanders' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-56,988 and $914,996 . That averages to $429,004, which is lower than the average net worth of Independent Senators in 2010 of $1,205,273.[21]

National Journal vote ratings


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Sanders ranked 29th in the liberal rankings.[22]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Bernie + Sanders + Vermont + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Sanders lives in Burlington, VT, with his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders and his four children.[7]

External links


  1. Official Senate website "Newsroom," Accessed October 12, 2011
  3. Gov Track "Bernard Sanders," Accessed March 3, 2012
  4. Burlington Free Press blog "Sen. Bernie Sanders wins Democratic endorsement for re-election," November 7, 2011
  5. Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Bernie Sanders," Accessed October 12, 2011
  6. New Statesman "Who's left? The top 20 US progressives," January 11, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Official Senate website "About page," Accessed October 12, 2011
  8. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  9. Los Angeles Times "Social Senator schemes to fire fed chair Bernanke," Accessed October 12, 2011
  10. Official Senate website "Newsroom," Accessed October 12, 2011
  11. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. Official primary candidate list
  13. Associated Press primary results
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"
  15. Federal Election Commission "Candidate (S4VT00033) Summary Reports - 2011-2012 Cycle," Accessed July 20, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission "Friends of Bernie Sanders April Quarterly," Accessed July 20, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission "Friends of Bernie Sanders July Quarterly," Accessed July 20, 2012
  18. Open Secrets "Bernie Sanders 2006 Election Cycle," Accessed November 26, 2011
  19. LegiStorm "Bernie Sanders"
  20., "Sanders, (R-Vermont), 2011"
  21., "Sanders, (I-Vermont), 2010"
  22. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Jeffords
U.S. Senate - Vermont
Succeeded by