Bernie Sanders endorsed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio ahead of Nevada caucuses

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president, and will be working as a surrogate of the campaign, a source familiar told USA TODAY Friday.

The New York Times was first to report the endorsement. 

De Blasio had a short stint of his own on the campaign trail running for president in 2019 when he sought the Democratic nomination.

However, he ended his bid just a few months after announcing his candidacy, saying, "I feel like I've contributed all I can to this primary election and it's clearly not my time so I'm going to end my presidential campaign."

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The mayor will be traveling to Nevada with the Sanders' campaign this weekend, ahead of next week's caucuses, including at a Sunday event in Carson City.

The source also told USA TODAY that the plan is for de Blasio to travel with the campaign to other parts of the country, but those places are "undetermined" at the moment.

In a statement obtained originally by CNN, Sen. Sanders said of the endorsement, "Jane and I grew up in Brooklyn and we are so proud to have the support of a New York City Mayor fighting every day to improve the lives of New Yorkers. Bill is a leading example of what bringing the Democratic Party together around so-called 'radical ideas' like universal pre-K, paid family and sick leave, and defending immigrant neighbors can do for our country." 

In 2019, while he was still running for the Democratic nomination, De Blasio said he thought Sanders would have won the presidential election in 2016 if he were the party's nominee instead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

"In my heart, yeah," the mayor answered to POLITICO at the time. "You know, hindsight’s 20/20, but I think when we look at it now, that was a moment where there was such desire for change."

A statement sent to supports from the Sanders' campaign said that de Blasio is "standing with Bernie because he stands with working families, and always has.”

"New Yorkers know all too well the damage caused by Donald Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry and recklessness, and Bernie is the candidate to take him on and take him down. I have called for a bold, progressive agenda, and that’s exactly what Senator Sanders has championed for decades. I am proud to endorse a true progressive leader who will fight for working New Yorkers and families across the country,” the statement continued. 

The two have kept in communication since the mayor ended his campaign in September, and have had a public relationship the past few years. In 2018, de Blasio was sworn in for his final term with Sanders administering the oath of office. 

The endorsement of Sanders comes on the heels of the Vermont senator having strong showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bernie Sanders endorsed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio