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Philadelphia Sen. Arthur Haywood endorses Bernie Sanders

Haywood is first elected official to openly endorse the Vermont senator's presidential bid.

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Arthur Haywood just became the first elected official in Philadelphia to openly endorse Bernie Sanders' presidential bid.

“Bernie has an ambitious plan for this nation,” Haywood, a senator for the state's 4th district since 2014, said on a press conference call. “Here in Pennsylvania, we suffer from some of the same corporate tax [issues] Bernie has mentioned. Recently, $2.8 billion in corporate tax giveaways occurred here."

Haywood said that corporate tax breaks played a "large part" in Pennsylvania's record-setting budget impasse. "I'm 100 percent with Sen. Sanders in recognizing that this has got to change," he added. 

On a more particular point, Haywood applauded the Vermont senator's college accessibility plan. Haywood's district contains parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, where he says young people are deterred from going to college because of rising debt costs. "We need to reinvest in ourselves," he said.

The endorsement also comes at a time when national observers are questioning the "racial math" of Sanders' supporters.

Haywood, who is African American, addressed the issue of Sanders lack of support within the Black community. (Compared to Democratic rival and frontrunner Hillary Clinton, that is.)

“I can not explain how other people have come to their position, but I can tell you how I’ve come to mine. The positions of Sen. Sanders are the most effective for creating the change that African American communities need," Haywood said, citing Sanders' education and healthcare plans.

“[Sanders] doesn’t have the same history in the in the African American community as the Clintons," he added. "But if you look... agenda to agenda, ambition to ambition, Senator Sanders wins."

Just four weeks from election day, Clinton maintains a much broader support base among Philadelphia's Democratic party, including an endorsement from Mayor Jim Kenney.

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