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Former U.S. senator Mike Gavel (D-Alaska) announced this week he is ending his long-shot bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and will divert resources to creating a new think tank to promote leftist causes.
Gravel, 89, failed to qualify for the first set of Democratic debates in June but did qualify for the second round this week. The former senator was kept off the stage, however, as 21 candidates qualified for only 20 spots on stage, forcing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to go by tie-breaker rules to determine who got to be behind the last podium.
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“The DNC kept up off the stage tonight even though we qualified, but the #Gravelanche is not over,” Gravel wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “We’re gonna keep going. As the campaign ends, we’re going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul.”
The Gravel campaign says it will donate some of its funds raised to charity while the rest will go towards setting up The Gravel Institute as a new left-wing think tank to advance liberal causes such as “ending the American empire” and “reforming our democracy.”
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The new leftist think tank’s announced priorities fit the pacifist message that was the centerpiece for the former senator’s presidential campaign. The campaign said the new organization would support the bold activism that defined Gravel’s time in the Senate, such as reading the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record.
Henry Magowan, the campaign’s 19-year-old treasurer who is a student at Columbia University, told ABC News that the campaign will decide in the next week whom to throw...
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