Bernie Sanders
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles during his speech at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Madison, on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. photo by Michelle Stocker

In the wake of Bernie Sanders ending his presidential campaign, Rep. David Bowen says the Vermont independent will be “key on the campaign trail” to helping Joe Biden defeat President Trump.

But Bowen told WisPolitics.com he believes the extent to which Sanders’ supporters embrace Biden depends on how willing the former vice president is to fold Sanders’ progressive policies into his agenda.

“I would say that’s one of the things that was very, very hard to see and get done in 2016,” the Milwaukee Dem said in an interview. “He has a huge opportunity to bring everybody into the fold and to make sure that the agenda reflects the will of the Democratic Party’s base.”

Sanders on Wednesday announced he would suspend his presidential campaign but stay on the ballot to continue collecting delegates for the August Dem convention in Milwaukee in order to “exert significant influence over the party platform.”

Bowen said he backed the move, noting a number of outstanding primary elections ahead of the convention. He conceded that “we all know Joe Biden is the nominee” but added: “It’s important that people still get a chance to vote the way they want to.”

“There’s still people just like me that really appreciate the chance to be able to vote for his agenda and his leadership,” he said.

Still, Bowen said he believes Sanders will be an active surrogate supporting Biden, noting he did the same for Hilary Clinton after conceding the Dem presidential nomination in 2016.

“I would see it no different this time around,” he said. “I know that he’s going to do everything he can to defeat Donald Trump.”

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