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Sen. Bernie Sanders Wins Vermont Democratic Primary, but Is Expected to Turn It Down

Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday but was expected to turn down the nomination, as he did in his previous campaigns, and support other Democratic candidates.

In Tuesday’s Democratic balloting, Sanders defeated little-known candidate Folasade Adeluola, who said she believes Vermont needs a full-time senator.

There were four little-known candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Sanders, long one of Vermont’s most popular politicians, is thought to be considering a presidential run in 2020 and already is on Vermont’s November ballot as an independent.

Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent. In his previous U.S. Senate races, in 2012 and 2006, he declined the Democratic nomination but accepted the formal endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party.

“That is what he has done in the past, and that is what he looks forward to happening in 2018,” Sanders campaign spokeswoman Arianna Jones said. “As he has for many campaigns, Bernie will contribute to and participate in the Vermont Democratic coordinated campaign.”

Sanders’ long-time political adviser Jeff Weaver said that the Sanders campaign is donating $150,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party.

Adeluola, of Shelburne, moved to Vermont last year from Indiana. She is already listed as an independent on the November ballot.