Filing for N.H. Ballot, Sanders Has Local Democrats Vouch for His Party Credentials

Nov 5, 2015

Bernie Sanders is officially a registered Democrat in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Despite some questions about the independent senator's party affiliation, Sanders passed a key hurdle Thursday to get on the New Hampshire ballot.

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Nearly an hour before Sanders was expected to file his candidacy papers,  dozens of supporters waited outside the Secretary of State's office, waving baby blue Bernie posters and chanting the candidate's name.

Once he arrived, the Vermont senator handed over the required paperwork and paid the fee. 

"And the check won't bounce - it's a good check," Sanders told Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the State House to greet Bernie Sanders after he filed.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After he filed, Sanders was pressed by the media about his status as a member of the Democratic Party. While Sanders is campaigning for the party’s nomination, he has held office as an independent throughout his political career.

But Thursday, he turned to a local expert to vouch for him. 

"The chairman of the (New Hampshire) Democratic Party, Ray Buckley, very kindly says that I'm a Democrat," Sanders said. "Should I be on the ballot?"

"You are a Democrat," Buckley replied, standing beside the candidate.

Once outside, Sanders was greeted by hundreds of supporters sprawled across the State House lawn.

As of Thursday Martin O'Malley, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina and Bernie Sanders have filed.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

At the rally, Sanders touched on his key issues, such as free public education, campaign finance reform and addressing climate change. 

Gail Gouveia of Epping said she’s been to multiple Sanders events and says she likes that he funds his campaign without the help of a SuperPac.

At the rally Bernie Sanders touched upon his major issues such as education, campaign finance and climate change.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

"The number one thing for me is that he wants to get big money out of politics - that's what makes him different from all the other candidates," Gouveia said after the rally ended.

Republicans Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio also filed on Thursday. Chris Christie and John Kasich are scheduled to file on Friday.