Omar, Ocasio-Cortez endorse Bernie Sanders for president

A man with a microphone gestures as another a man watches.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to Tom Crann during an interview at the MPR News booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 24, 2019 in Falcon Heights, Minn.
Caroline Yang for MPR News

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says she’s backing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Omar announced her endorsement in a statement released following last night’s Democratic presidential debate in Ohio.

Omar said she’d joined Sanders previously on legislation that would cancel student debt, and another measure to provide school meals to all students year round. She also hailed his stance on foreign policy and human rights.

She joined fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 30, in endorsing Sanders Tuesday.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,Ayanna Pressley,Rashida Tlaib,Ilhan Omar
From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., respond to remarks by President Trump.
J. Scott Applewhite | AP Photo

Omar, 38, Ocasio-Cortez and two other first term women in Congress have become national figures known as “The Squad” since sparring with President Trump in July. Omar’s personal life has also become a focus of national attention.

Omar chose not to endorse her own U.S. Senator, 3rd term DFLer Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential hopeful, and one of the candidates contending with Sanders at last night’s debate.

The endorsements are a major boon for the 78-year-old Vermont senator, who has faced questions over his health since suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.

Sanders' deputy communications director Sarah Ford says Ocasio-Cortez will appear with the senator at a rally in her home district in New York this weekend.

Sanders hinted at her backing during Tuesday's Democratic debate in response to a question about his age, saying his skeptics should attend his Saturday rally featuring a "surprise guest."

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