Bernie Sanders' 2020 Democratic campaign annnounced just before holding a rally with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezt in Los Angeles Saturday that the Vermont senator's candidacy has the endorsement of over 300 prominent Californians.
"We need a president who is committed to caring for the people of this country—from the men and women who bravely wore our nation's uniform to the young people who are sleeping on our streets," Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of the California Young Democrats, said in a statement. "Bernie Sanders has always fulfilled our moral obligation to lift up all Americans and give them the opportunities they deserve to thrive."
Sanders and six of his rivals debated onstage at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Thursday.
For Oakland city councilmember Nikki Bas, Sanders' long record of fighting for the working class puts him above the other Democrats vying for the nomination.
"Having fought for the rights and dignity of working immigrant women for two decades, I trust Bernie Sanders to be a champion for justice for all of us," said Bas. "Our nation needs a bold, principled leader who will end status quo politics and put the needs of everyday people before corporate profits."
The endorsements come as Sanders is surging in polling nationwide and in California particularly. The senator is leading in the state in recent polls, showing significant strength in an important testing ground for his message and electability.
The Sanders campaign's California state director Rafael Návar said the endorsements were a testament to the coalition behind the senator's run.
"We are proud to have the endorsement of some of California's most progressive and dedicated elected officials, community leaders, and academics," Návar said. "We have the grassroots support we need to win this election, and with these leaders on our side, Bernie Sanders will become the next President of the United States."
Watch the rally: