With the March 3 primary approaching, Mustang News asked local political groups who they would be endorsing in the presidential primary election. Mustang News focused on Democrat presidential primary candidates because President Donald Trump is expected to win the Republican primary vote, whereas there are still more than six Democratic candidates polling above 2 percent.
Nationally, Sunrise endorsed Bernie Sanders for president because of his commitment to the Green New Deal, environmental justice and his ability to mobilize the public to advocate for the environment, according to their website.
The San Luis Obispo chapter of Sunrise also endorsed Sanders because of his commitment to phase out oil and gas and create jobs in the renewable energy industry, according to club member and city and regional planning freshman Declan Galli.
“He will say we need to do climate investment, we need to, you know, stop burning coal, we need to make investments in jobs, but he also says that it’s not the people that work for individual corporations fault,” Galli said. “If you are an oil worker it’s not your fault that you had to work for an oil company, it’s just that was the only job you could get. Bernie really wants to create new green jobs.”
Sunrise SLO will hold a phone banking event in support of Sanders Saturday Feb. 29 at noon.
Mayor Heidi Harmon said she endorses Bernie Sanders for president because of his commitment to the Green New Deal, union jobs, establishing living wages and mitigating the disproportionate impact pollution and climate change have on low income communites and people of color.
“Both he and I run under the same idea of people, planet and a shared prosperity, and he has lived that for the last 40 or 50 years,” Harmon said.
Harmon said that she thinks that Sanders is trustworthy.
For the past 40 years, Sanders has been advocating for the envionment, and was arrested multiple times fighting for civil rights, she said.
“Time after time he has taken the hard vote, said what needed to be said, done what needed to be done, without strategizing about how to get elected,” she said. “I strive to be a leader like that, that cares more about the next generation then the next election, and he is that leader.”
Additionally, Harmon said she prioritizes rallying citizens to be civically engaged, and Sanders does that. In San Luis Obispo, she only sees Bernie and Warren supporters out canvassing, she said.
“When Bernie is president, it will be up to us,” Harmon said. “Those of us now that are out there knocking on doors for Bernie, are going to be the same people that are knocking on the doors of our congressperson to tell that person what we want and don’t want in our communities, so that to me is key.”
Cal Poly Democrats
Members of Cal Poly Democrats Club voted not to endorse a presidential candidate for the primary election, according to the club’s co-president and psychology senior Paden McNiff.
“Our main goal right now is really just to make sure that no matter what we all rally behind the Democratic candidate,” McNiff said. “We really want to make sure that we’re not bringing negative attention to other candidates who we will then want to rally around in the future.”
The club will endorse a presidential candidate after the primary election, McNiff said.
Though they didn’t endorse a presidential candidate, the club hosts progressive phone banking sessions every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers primarily make calls in support of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but they are welcome to make calls in support of any Democratic candidate, McNiff said.
San Luis Obispo Democrats
The San Luis Obispo Democratic Party will not endorse a candidate until after the primaries. The organization will endorse the same candidate that the California Democratic Party endorses, according to Lori Caudill, a volunteer in their office.
The San Luis Obispo Progressives did not return a request for comment.