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Thousands attend rally for Bernie Sanders in Utah

(Bernie Sanders, speaking to thousands of supporters at the Utah State Fairgrounds. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — While one Democratic candidate was dropping out in Utah, another had thousands of people cheering him on in downtown Salt Lake City.  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally at the Utah State Fairgrounds just before Super Tuesday.

“It is wonderful to be here in one of the most beautiful states in the country,” said Sanders, speaking to the 5,885 supporters attending the rally.  It kicked off shortly after Senator Amy Klobuchar announced she was suspending her campaign and endorsing former Vice-President Joe Biden.

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

While speaking to the crowd, Sanders repeated campaign promises he has made before.  He vowed to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, he promised Medicare for All, and he proposed tripling funding for low-income schools.  Also, he plans to issue an executive order legalizing marijuana on his first day.

Sanders also told supporters he wants to see major immigration reform leading to a path to citizenship.

“On day one, we’re going to restore the legal status of the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program,” said Sanders.

Sanders took several jabs at President Trump, but he also took aim at a Super PAC called “The Big Tent,” which he claims is funding attack ads against him.  He asked supporters to ask where that money is really coming from.

“Now, I can’t tell you who is funding The Big Tent because in a corrupt political system CEOs of large corporations and billionaires can spend as much as they want without being disclosed,” Sanders said.

Most of the supporters who spoke to KSL said they’ve always been big fans of Sanders.  Some confirmed they already sent in their ballots for Super Tuesday. Supporters of Sanders mentioned their priorities lie in increased representation, working-class rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change policy, and Medicare for All.

However, others said they were hoping to back other candidates who have since dropped out.

One woman said, “Until last night, I was a supporter of Pete Buttigieg.  Bernie is my second pick.”  She added, “I’m hoping to get some clarification on his financial plans and how he expects to pay for people’s tuition at state schools and where he’s going to find the money for that.”

Others said they were surprised to hear Amy Klobuchar dropped out shortly after holding a campaign rally in Utah.  They believe the DNC is trying to get people to vote against Sanders, and they predict there will be a brokered convention in the summer.

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