Madison Mayor Paul Soglin introduced Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to a crowd of more than 8,000 at Alliant Energy Center Saturday.
But the two have a history that goes back to the 1970s when Soglin was the 51st mayor of Madison—he is currently the 57th—and before Sanders was even elected to public office.
“I have known Bernie Sanders for 40 years,” Soglin said. “He and I were involved in some collaborative efforts back in the late ‘70s which were designed to bring reforms to local and state governments with progressive leadership.”
Soglin was first elected in 1973 at 27 and “thumbed his nose at the establishment by naming as police chief a man who wore a ponytail,” according to the New York Times.
Sanders was elected mayor of Vermont’s capital Burlington eight years later by only 10 votes, according to Politico. The Rolling Stone called the democratic socialist, whom was elected six weeks after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, the “red mayor in the green mountains.”
For Soglin, Sanders’ fight against economic injustice is the most important issue in this campaign.
“He’s committed to fixing the most serious problem facing this nation. And that is the economic injustice which is literally growing every single day,” Soglin said. “And it’s crushing families of color who have not participated in the recovery from the 2008 recession.”