Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., officially endorsed presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday, announcing that she would campaign alongside him in Des Moines, Iowa, before the crucial state caucuses just over two weeks away.
Jayapal, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has also been named the national health policy chair to Sanders’ campaign.
Her endorsement came on the heels of fellow co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., announcing his support for Sanders.
Jayapal was the lead sponsor of the House “Medicare-for-all” bill. The progressive Democrat’s support could bolster Sanders’ status among women, analysts have said.
Jayapal’s announcement followed weeks of controversy swirling around Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — who also courted the congresswoman’s support for her 2020 campaign, but to no avail — after Warren said Sanders told her in 2018 that he did not believe a woman would win the presidential race. Sanders denied it.
Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen announced Saturday that she’s supporting Warren.
“I’m all in for @BernieSanders for President!,” Jayapal tweeted Sunday. “Bernie has the bold passion, authenticity & clarity that working people across this country desperately need. We are building the progressive movement that will bring justice & opportunity & transform our country. Join us!”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a member of the progressive “Squad” in the House, called Jayapal’s support a “really big deal.”