Co-founder of political party that launched Sanders dies


DUMMERSTON, Vt. (AP) — A man who helped found the Vermont political party that launched Bernie Sanders for office in the 1970s has died. Peter Diamondstone was 82.

Diamondstone co-founded the Liberty Union Party. His daughter says he died Wednesday in Dummerston.

His family says he dedicated his life to a vision of a fair society “where all people have equal access to the resources necessary to actualize their full potential.”

The Liberty Union Party describes itself as a nonviolent socialist party.

Sanders ran for U.S. senator and Vermont governor twice each in the 1970s under the Liberty Union banner before becoming an independent and being elected Burlington’s mayor in 1981. He now serves in the U.S. Senate and ran unsuccessfully for president in Democratic primaries last year.

Sanders calls Diamondstone an independent thinker who “played an important role in Vermont politics.”

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