Former Bernie Sanders Operative to Challenge David Young for Congress

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Pete D’Alessandro, left, speaks to reporter Jimmy Dore in 2016. Image: The Young Turks/YouTube

Update, 4/25: D’Alessandro has released a statement announcing he is exploring a run for Congress. The statement is an expanded version of what he previously told the Guardian.

Original post: According to a report in the Guardian, Pete D’Alessandro, a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign operative who played a key role in the Vermont senator’s near tie with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, plans to announce his bid for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District today.

The swing district, which includes Des Moines, is represented by former Chuck Grassley aide David Young, a Republican.

“For the past several months, progressives throughout Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District have contacted me and have asked me to consider running for the US House of Representatives,” D’Alessandro told the Guardian. “The many offers of support have been humbling. It is clear that a great many people believe it is not possible to change the clutter in Washington DC if we choose our candidates from the same failed pool that we have in the recent past.”

D’Alessandro’s bid, the Guardian reports, could be a key test for Sanders-allied politicians. In Iowa, a clear chasm remains between his supporters and Clinton backers.

After losing the Democratic primary last year, Sanders continued his involvement in electoral politics both by stumping for Clinton and launching Our Revolution – a takeoff on his “political revolution” campaign slogan – which last fall endorsed three Iowans running for the Statehouse. Among them, only state Rep. Tim Kacena, D-Sioux City, won.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.