Following a major win in the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders is increasing his campaign presence across the United States, including California’s Central Valley.
Sanders’ campaign team visited CSU Bakersfield to host a campaign rally in the Alumni Plaza on Feb. 12 in the hopes of garnering new voters.
Rather than Sanders attending himself, he sent campaign surrogates Phillip Agnew and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez to the rally.
Around two dozen attendees gathered at the Alumni Plaza to hear Sanders’ team make their case for a Bernie presidency.
Martinez, a 19-year-old Sanders surrogate and hip-hop artist, has worked for the campaign for just under a year. Martinez expressed his belief in Sanders, and emphasized that coming to places like the Central Valley is a necessary part of gathering enough voters for Sanders to win the Democratic primary.
“Everyone is inspired by the wins taken and Sanders is no longer the underdog. With the winning in Iowa and New Hampshire just continues to prove people wrong and it is also making them nervous,” Martinez said.
CSUB student and Sanders campaign volunteer Andrea Guevarra spoke at the rally, focusing on environmental issues.
“Bernie Sanders is the right candidate,” Guevarra said.
To Guevarra, waiting for politicians to address issues like climate change is not enough. She believes Sanders will bring swift changes.
Though many attendees were dressed in campaign attire, not all were decided on Sanders as their preferred candidate.
CSUB student and first-time voter Jazmine Garcia said she is undecided. Having heard of Sanders’ policies from her friends, she decided to attend the event. Garcia viewed the event as an opportunity to be exposed to more ideas before she casts her first ballot.
Garcia attended with fellow CSUB student Penelope Valle, another undecided voter. Valle, however, has a strong preference for Sanders as a presidential candidate. Like Garcia, Valle saw the rally as a way to expand her horizons.
“I’m here to examine the candidates,” Valle said, “both Republicans and Democrats.”
Following the rally, Sanders surrogates Martinez and Agnew took back to the campaign trail. The Sanders campaign will continue to make appearances throughout California.