Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, headlined get-out-the-vote rallies across Vermont Friday, urging Vermonters to back Sue Minter for governor and David Zuckerman for lieutenant governor.
"Let us get involved," the former presidential candidate told a crowd of hundreds at the group’s first stop of the day at Johnson State College. "Make sure you're registered to vote!"
Sanders said he believes Minter, a Democrat, and Zuckerman, who has the backing of Democrats and Progressives, are the best choices to move the state forward on many issues such as wealth inequality, environmental protection and campaign finance reform.
"Bernie's message that has transformed our country is really what we're trying to do here," Minter said of her campaign for Vermont governor.
After the rally at Johnson State, Sanders, Minter, and Zuckerman traveled to Lyndon, Newport, and White River Junction. Another event is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Brattleboro.
"We've only elected one woman governor," Minter told the audience in Johnson, which was made up of a mix of college students and members of the community. "I'm ready to be the second, and I hope you’re ready for me!"
Last week, Minter met with Vice President Joe Biden when he was in Vermont. This week, her campaign released a radio ad in which President Barack Obama endorses Minter.
"Sue has the right ideas about creating an economy that works for all Vermonters," President Obama says in the ad.
The campaign of Minter’s chief rival, Republican Phil Scott, questioned Minter's high-profile backers, in a response to an inquiry from necn.
"The fact the Minter campaign is having to draw on national support tells us they are worried about the momentum of her campaign in the final stretch," wrote Brittney Wilson of the Scott campaign.
Scott, who is currently Vermont's lieutenant governor, is the only Republican now holding statewide office. In his bid for governor, Scott has been focusing his message on taxes and the state budget.
"Certainly it's daunting when you have the president, vice president, a popular senator and so forth all lining up to oppose you," Scott said Friday in an interview with NBC 5. "But I believe Vermonters are independent. They know me. And I think they believe and trust me."
The Scott campaign said it is confident its core message of a focus on the economy will draw enthusiastic supporters.
At the end of the Johnson rally, Sen. Sanders urged the crowd to stay politically active after Election Day, and to keep pushing for the changes they want to see for their communities and country.
"In the next two weeks, please do everything you can to get your friends to vote, and please do everything you can the day after the election to help us transform this country," Sanders asked of the audience.