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Bernie Sanders' supporters hope to continue "revolution" at state Democratic convention

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Bernie Sanders won't be on the ballot, but his presence may be felt for many years ahead for Michigan Democrats.

Michigan Democrats will hold their state party convention in Lansing on Saturday.

This weekend’s convention may end up reflecting former presidential candidate’s Bernie Sanders' policies as much as party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders won Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary in March. But many Sanders supporters have felt slighted by state Democratic Party leaders. At the national party convention in Philadelphia in July, Sanders’ Michigan delegates were among the most visible in expressing their dissatisfaction with the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee. 

However, since last month, they have been working to extend what they call their “revolution.”

Sanders’ backers have already helped shape the party’s proposed platform that will be voted on Saturday. The platform includes opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is among the issues Sanders’ supporters pushed.

Zack Reinhardt is a delegate to this weekend’s state convention. He was also a Sanders delegate at the national party convention last month. He wants Sanders’ influence to extend to who’s on the ballot.

“Eventually we are hoping to elect people within the Michigan Democratic Party who reflect our ideals,” says Reinhardt.

Reinhardt says Sanders’ supporters are already working to elect several progressive local candidates in November.   

But that is just the beginning.

“I think the word takeover is a really good descriptor,’ says Charles Niswander, a Sanders delegate at the national party convention last month, and a delegate to this weekend’s convention.

Niswander expects it will take a few years, but he hopes Michigan will be among the most progressive states in the union.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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