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Michigan Senator Bert Johnson endorses Bernie Sanders

DETROIT – State Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit endorsed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for President of the United States one day prior to Michigan’s presidential primary.

In a joint statement on Monday, Johnson cited Sanders’ lifelong commitment to civil rights and his work to support the working class and end economic inequality.

“Bernie’s concerns are the same concerns that I have for my constituents. His commitment to create jobs, reduce inequity and end the disparities between whites and blacks.” said Johnson. “Sen. Sanders understands what is happening here on the ground in Michigan and his policies will directly support the residents of my district.”

Sanders has spent considerable time in canvassing the state, bringing his message of workforce issues, including the nation’s need for fair trade, income equality and a $15 minimum wage.

“Sen. Johnson’s endorsement shows us that the people who know Michigan best, understand that Sen. Sanders is the right choice for president,” said Ryan Hughes, Michigan state director for Sanders’ campaign. “Bernie’s career commitment to civil rights, his push to end inequity, his work to give workers a $15 hour minimum wage and his plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure will give Detroit and all of Michigan a future they can believe in.”

Gabbard, Fort and Bamberg switched

Johnson joins a growing number of Democratic politicos switching their endorsement to Sanders.

In February, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) and Iraq War veteran stepped down as Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee and announced her endorsement for Sanders on Meet the Press.

“I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,” Gabbard said.

Also switching support to Sanders camp were Sen. Vincent Fort, (GA) and Rep. Justin T. Bamberg (SC). The legislators expressed their support for Sanders Medicare for all program, increase in minimum wage, willingness to challenge Wall Street and income equality initiatives.

“I did my research. I studied Bernie Sanders record, his positions and his history,” said Fort in an interview with MSNBC.

Fort went on to say that Republican governors historically have frustrated Medicaid expansion in contrast to the needs of the people served.

Johnson’s endorsement timed before the primary was a welcome addition for Sanders as he prepared for a Town Hall meeting with rival Hillary Clinton in Detroit. Sanders and Clinton debated in Flint Michigan on Sunday night in a meeting that saw the two in a more aggressive and heated exchange.

Johnson’s Senate district includes northeast Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and all five Grosse Pointe communities.

This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on March 7, 2016.

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