Johnson "is not afraid to stand up for strong unions and make big corporations and the rich pay their fair share," said the Vermont senator.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday endorsed progressive Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson in Chicago's mayoral race, calling the former public school teacher a "champion for working families" and touting his support for taxes on the rich to fund critical social services.
In a statement, Sanders said Johnson "is not afraid to stand up for strong unions and make big corporations and the rich pay their fair share to invest in affordable housing, quality healthcare, better schools, and good jobs."
"Brandon understands the struggles of working people, and is prepared to address them, and that is why I am proud to endorse his campaign for mayor of the city of Chicago," the Vermont senator added.
Johnson is set to face conservative Democrat Paul Vallas, a notorious school privatization advocate, in Chicago's April 4 mayoral runoff.
The progressive candidate said he is "honored to have the support of Senator Bernie Sanders in this campaign."
"This campaign is about fighting for working people, and that is what Senator Sanders has done his entire life," Johnson said in a statement. "Together, we will deliver the change we need to secure better schools, safer neighborhoods, affordable housing, quality healthcare, and support for working people across this city."
Sanders' endorsement came on the same day that powerful Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)—whose electoral maneuvering and policy positions have frequently clashed with the Vermont senator's—threw his support behind Johnson.
HuffPostreported Thursday that "Clyburn, a prodigious fundraiser, has been 'bundling,' or gathering campaign donations for Johnson for weeks now, according to the Johnson campaign."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have also backed Johnson over Vallas.