Who Is Bernie Sanders' Son? Everything You Need To Know About Levi Sanders And His Political Ambitions

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Who Is Bernie Sanders' Son? Everything You Need To Know About Levi Sanders And His Political Ambitions
Entertainment And News

Senator Bernie Sanders is presidential candidate whose irascible style some find inspiring while others find abrasive. He's currently vying to be the Democratic nominee.

With his trademark bluster on full display, Bernie often talk about his plans for Medicare for all and taxing corporations. But unlike other candidates, the Democratic Socialist doesn't tend to tell any personal stories. Family tales aren’t how Bernie communicates but he does have a family, including four children. His only biological child is his son Levi, a progressive activist and political hopeful in his own right.

Who is Bernie Sanders's son, Levi Sanders? 

1. Who is Bernie Sanders' son, Levi Sanders?

Levi is one of four children in the family but the only biological son of Sanders. Levi’s siblings were the children of Sanders’ current wife Jane from her previous marriage. Sanders, too, was married one other time to Deborah Schilling, with whom he had no children, though for years reporters erroneously believed Levi to be her son. Bernie did nothing to correct that impression. However, Levi was born after his divorce, the child of a short-lived relationship Bernie had with Levi’s mother Susan Campbell Mott. While the couple did not maintain a romantic relationship over the years, Bernie moved to Burlington to be closer to Levi and has been an involved parent for his entire life. Bernie has been married to Jane Sanders since 1988.

Levi tweets photos of his dad.

2. Levi works as a legal analyst.

Much like his populist-minded dad, Levi has made a living doing things that help other people, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has a long history working at a Vermont food bank as a general manager. And though he does not have a law degree, he currently works as a Social Security Senior Legal Analyst where he manages “Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits specialist; represent clients in cases at initial, denial, reconsideration, administrative law and appeals council level.”

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3. Levi was married to Raine Riggs.

Levi was married to Raine Riggs, a neuropsychologist whose studies had included the psychiatric syndromes connected to cancer diagnoses, something Bernie was interested in as early as the 1980s. The couple has three children, all adopted from China and they lived in New Hampshire. Sadly, Riggs passed away from neuroendocrine cancer in October 2019.


Levi and his wife and children.

4. Levi is a fixture on his father's campaign.

Levi has been a fixture on his father’s campaigns since he was two, often going along on campaign stops and being present at debates. By the time the Senator from Vermont was running for president in 2016, Levi had an official campaign job. According to his LinkedIn page, he was the Senior Policy Strategist for the Sanders for Presidential campaign and lists his duties as “Lead legal and policy position analysis for Social Security, housing, health and other campaign initiatives. Responsible for debate preparation and East Coast campaign fundraising efforts.” He also lists himself as a consultant for the 2006 Sanders for Senate campaign, saying his duties were “Organized and facilitated campaign meetings and fundraising activities for successful VermontSenate campaign. Drafted position papers on Social Security, health care, housing, welfare reform, nutrition and other social service issues."

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5. Does Levi has his own political aspirations?

While Levi has been part of his father's campaigns for many years, the same can not be said for Bernie jumping in when his son unsuccessfully ran for office. Levi made a bid for a Congressional seat in New Hampshire and Bernie conspicuously avoided endorsing him. When pressed on the matter, the Vermont Senator said, “Levi has spent his life in service to low-income and working families, and I am very proud of all that he has done. In our family, however, we do not believe in dynastic politics. Levi is running his own campaign in his own way.” There were rumors at the time that “running his own campaign in his own way” was a veiled criticism for a campaign that many critics called inept. Political cynics wondered if Bernie thought his son’s mistakes would hurt his own bid for president in 2020. But, it should be noted that Bernie also declined to endorse his step-daughter when she ran for mayor of Burlington, Vermont. So perhaps he just has a policy of not endorsing family members.

The younger Sanders claimed not to be bothered by not getting his famous father’s endorsement, saying “He’s always believed, ever since I was little, that I have to stand up on my own.”

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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