Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. Before serving in the Senate, he represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives and served as mayor of Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.
Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments, but because he does not belong to a formal political party, he appears as an independent on the ballot. He was also the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history.
In an interview with The Nation on March 6, 2014, Sanders stated that he is "prepared to run for President of the United States" in 2016.