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  • U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks after being endorsed by the Transportation Workers Union in Brooklyn, New York, April 13, 2016.

    U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks after being endorsed by the Transportation Workers Union in Brooklyn, New York, April 13, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Sanders also gained an endorsement from the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents 42,000 workers in the New York region.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has won his first endorsement from a Senate colleague, less than a week before New York state's primary.

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U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, in a column for the New York Times published Wednesday, said he supports Sanders because of his work battling economic inequality, opposing trade deals and fighting for the middle class.

"It is time to recommit ourselves to that vision of a country that measures our nation’s success not at the boardroom table, but at kitchen tables across America," Merkley wrote. "Bernie Sanders stands for that America, and so I stand with Bernie Sanders for president."

Merkley, whose comments come before the May 17 primary in Oregon, also praised Clinton and said he recognized Sanders has an "uphill battle" to defeat her.

Clinton leads Sanders in the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election, but Merkley said Sanders could still upset her.

"Anything's possible in a campaign," he said in an interview on MSNBC.

Sanders also received the endorsement from the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents 42,000 workers in the New York region. New Yorkers will vote in the Democratic primary on April 19.

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Deriding "fierce attacks" against unions over the last several decades, Sanders called organized labor the last line of defense against corporate greed in the United States.

"We've got to stand together, take on the big-money interests and make it clear that our government works for all of us, not just the 1 percent," said the U.S. senator from Vermont.

Sanders' rival for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, won the endorsement of New York's Daily News on Wednesday. The newspaper called her a "superprepared warrior realist" who understands the economic toll the country has faced, while labeling Sanders "utterly unprepared" with "politically impossible" goals.


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