Published in Politico Magazine


In October 2015, Bernie Sanders' campaign for President of the United States was starting to gain steam on a national level. Small donations from individuals, not major corporations or Super-PAC funds, were providing fuel for the Vermont Senator's grassroots campaign, and the prevailing wisdom was that the more America got to know him, the more they would like him.

Vermonters, however, already knew Bernie pretty well. Sanders moved to a small town in Vermont in the late 1960's and became active in progressive politics before going on to become the mayor of Burlington and serving in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. 


This photo essay aims to shed light on some of the unique people, places, and political accomplishments from the Presidential candidate's 30+ year history in the state, and documents the mood of everyday Vermonters - from dairy farmers in the Northeast Kingdom to punk rockers in Burlington - at a time when their hometown candidate was starting to become a household name around the country.


Lyle Spud, one of the dairy farmers I interviewed for this piece put it like so: "Don't underestimate him. Bernie is no fool. He knows how to win. And he's unorthodox too. What he's doing win or lose will change the debates. And change America in time...if you care about your children or grandchildren then you have to care about politics."

A large painted mural of Bernie Sanders is seen on a barn in the rural Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. The mural is the work of Venice, CA based street artist Jules Muck.
info
×
Shirley Laplant at home on Shady Rill Road a few houses down from Bernie Sanders' first home in the state of Vermont. "Bernie's a pretty smart guy. We knew him very well when we was runnin' the dairy farm up here. Once in a while he'd come and take some m
info
×
A currently abandoned home in the woods near Shady Rill Road which according to public record was owned by Bernie Sanders and his first wife in the 1960's after Sanders relocated to Vermont from Brooklyn, NY.
info
×
Tom Gilbert, local farmer and compost producer, cleans chickens with the help of local musician and friend Jean Miller in the backyard of his farmhouse in Stannard, Vermont, a tiny town where Bernie Sanders lived in the late 1960's. "An important cultural
info
×
Peter Diamondstone and wife Doris outside their home. Peter is co-founder of the anti-war and socialist Liberty Union Party, on whose ticket Bernie Sanders campaigned for US Senate in 1971 along with Doris who ran for the US House. "What held this party t
info
×
Steve Goodkind, former Public Works Director for the City of Burlington, in front of his son's motorcycle repair shop. Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy for mayor of Burlington in Goodkind's living room in 1981, and Goodkind was Sanders first appointe
info
×
Bill Doyle, 89, Republican member of Vermont State Senate and Professor of Government at Johnson State College, where he taught Bernie Sanders for a semester in the early 70's. "I think his attitude was...'I want this college to work for me', so he instit
info
×
Lyle "Spud" Edwards on the organic dairy farm he runs with his wife Kitty in the rural Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, one of over 200 organic dairy farms in the state. His family roots go back to 1799 in the state. .."Don't underestimate him. Bernie
info
×
Dexter Randall, organic dairy farmer for Organic Valley and former Progressive Party member of the Vermont House of Representatives, who hosts annual pig roasts on his farm that Bernie Sanders frequently attends..."In the mid-80's when our friend Ronald R
info
×
Dylan, 12, and her mother's boyfriend Matt, relax on their porch in the Northgate Housing complex. In the late 1980's, the property owners were planning to redevelop the complex into luxury or commercial housing which would have displaced 336 families. Be
info
×
A tourist snaps a selfie aboard a Lake Champlain ferry docking at the Burlington Waterfront Park, where Bernie Sanders announced his 2016 campaign for President on May 26th, 2015. As Mayor, Sanders led efforts to revitalize the waterfront from an unused r
info
×
The sun rises through morning mist in a small town near the Green Mountains of Vermont.
info
×
Yeshua Hill, Ian Burton, and Gavin Greenewalt of the Vermont based psychedelic stoner rock band Acid Roach play dice before their show at 242 Main in Burlington. The 30 year old venue was created in a vacant water meter building with the help of the Mayor
info
×
Curtiss Reed, Jr. discusses scheduling conflicts on the phone with Phil Fiermonte, the Campaign Field Director for Bernie Sanders. .Curtis runs a non-profit called the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity that works to strengthen inclusive pract
info
×
Ray Gendron (left) and Winston Shaw (right) of Mom & Pops Maple Syrup sell their goods to passerby's from their roadside stand...Ray says of Bernie Sanders' socialist leanings, "I don't agree with handouts. Except for veterans. People have to work for wha
info
×
A graffiti covered van sits on bucolic farm land near route 30 in Vermont.
info
×
A "Bernie for President" sign is seen in front of a home in Cabot, Vermont.
info
×
A composite image showing cars with different bumper stickers. A 4x4 is seen with a Pro-Bernie sticker and a Prius is seen with Pro-Ben Carson and conservative stickers.
info
×
Anna Lewis stands in front of pumpkins for sale outside her family's home. She works as a bookkeeper for the family farm and expressed concern about Bernie Sander's becoming President. "Well, I'm not happy with healthcare in Vermont. It's a welfare state.
info
×
Mike Covey, machinist and lifelong hunting enthusiast, sits with his hunting rifle in a friend's lodge decorated with taxidermy...Regarding Bernie Sander's current rise in national awareness, he said, "There's no pride for me (as a Vermonter) in having Be
info
×
Michael Murray waits outside a gas station in for his ride to work. He lives in a tent on the property of a man who also provides him with steady carpentry work building wine racks..."I smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish. I just started doing some
info
×
Benches with political party labels of "Democrats", "Republicans" and "Sandernistas" in front of a General Store and gas station on North Hero island. The middle chair labeled "Sandernistas" references supporters of Bernie Sanders, an Independent traditio
info
×
A "Bernie Burger" special named after Bernie Sanders is seen on the menu at a popular craft beer and burger bar in Vermont.
info
×
Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders is seen on a large projector screen at the Arts Riot venue in Burlington during a debate party hosted by the Progressive party of Vermont.
info
×
An impromptu political debate between progressives outside the Arts Riot venue in Burlington is seen on the street after a debate party ends for a Democratic Debate.
info
×
Using Format