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15 Things You Should Know About Bernie Sanders, Who Just Announced He's Running For President

He's been a carpenter, a folk artist, and a senator — but will he be our next president?

The race is on for real.

Senator Bernie Sanders has announced that he, too, will be seeking the 2016 presidential nomination by the Democratic Party.

Even if people are throwing around words like "inevitable" about his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, Sanders offers an alternative for the party ensuring that 2016 will definitely be a race to remember.

Here's your chance to read up on Sanders and his politics. Maybe he's your pick for 2016.

  1. He's an Independent Senator from Vermont.
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    He's a self-described "socialist democrat" and has served as mayor of Burlington, a member of the House of Representatives and a Senator in Vermont.

  2. And he's seeking the Democratic Party nomination.
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    For all intents and purposes, Sanders is counted as a Democrat in committee assignments and head counts.

  3. He has a wife and four children.

    Sanders is married to Jane O'Meara Driscoll, a former president of Burlington College. He has four children: Levi, Heather, Carina and David. At 73 years old, he also has seven grandchildren.

  4. He's from Brooklyn.

    He candidly describes his Brooklyn-based background as "strictly lower-middle class."

  5. A lot of Democrats wanted him to run in 2012.
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    There was a petition and a lot of hype in 2011 by his supporters to try and get him to run in the 2012 election. However, Sanders respectfully declined at the time.

  6. He's all about the green (initiatives.)

    Sanders introduced the "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007" intending to increase standards for electric generation and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States overall. He's extremely vocal about the need for Americans to take action when it comes to climate change.

  7. He doesn't think corporations should be treated like people.
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    He's been pretty open about how large companies shouldn't be able to throw their financial weight around to sway elections because, you know, companies can't technically vote.

  8. He's a recording artist.

    In 1987 Sanders recorded a folk album. Although he says he can't sing, he recorded a series of speeches with some inspirational choir music in the background. Think Jay Z will put this on Tidal?

  9. He's for same-sex marriage.

    A staunch social liberal, Sanders voted against the "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) in the 90s and has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality throughout his career.

  10. He's pro-choice.

    Sanders has been an advocate of women's health issues throughout his time in office, never shying away from the hardships of the pre-Roe v. Wade days.

  11. He believes we should be taking better care of our veterans.
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    In 2013 Sanders introduced the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013" that would hopefully increase the disability compensation available for American veterans and their family members.

  12. He supports raising the minimum wage.
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    Sanders is a huge supporter of the living wage movement. He's gone as far as to join protestors outside the capital, giving rousing speeches about the importance of a minimum wage people can live on.

  13. He can work with wood.
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    Along with his work as a politician, writer, filmmaker, researcher and professor, Sanders also worked as a carpenter when he first moved to Vermont.

  14. He can talk for a really, really long time.

    In December of 2010, Sanders gave a 8 and a half hour speech against the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010," which would extend the tax rates instated during George W. Bush's presidency. While it wasn't done to block action and it wasn't technically a filibuster, but it was hella long. His supporters loved it so much, it also became a book.

  15. And he's notoriously sarcastic.
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    He is certainly known for his sassy 'tude. During his not-a-filibuster filibuster, Sanders mocked the demands and "necessities" of the uber-rich: “How can I get by on one house? I need five houses, 10 houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world!”

    Dude keeps it real.