Bernie Sanders launches 2020 presidential run

(JTA) — Bernie Sanders officially launched his second campaign for president.

The Vermont senator’s 2020 campaign launched on Tuesday morning with an email to supporters and a tweet that included a nearly 2-minute video and a request for support.

“I’m running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country,” the tweet said, and provided a link to a fundraising page.

Sanders, 77, is an Independent but is seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party following his unsuccessful bid in 2016. He is a self-described democratic socialist.

Sanders, who was re-elected for a third term to the Senate from Vermont last year, had been dropping hints for months that he would run for president.

“We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it’s time to move that revolution forward,” Sanders told Virginia Public Radio on Tuesday morning.

His 2016 campaign recently came under fire for failing to adequately address allegations by female staffers that they suffered sexual harassment from campaign officials.

Sanders has been an outspoken critic of how Israel handles its relationship with the Gaza Strip while decrying what he sees as a double standard applied to Israel.

“Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he wrote in his announcement email. “Our campaign is about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life. I’m talking about Wall Street, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the private-prison industry and the large multi-national corporations that exert such an enormous influence over our lives.”