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Officials throw their support behind Sanders at rally

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Several hundred people rallied Saturday afternoon in Pioneer Courthouse Square to support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in his bid for the Democratic nomination for president.Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba and Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick endorsed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Saturday during the campaign’s downtown Portland rally.

Gamba and Novick were among more than a dozen officials and others who spoke at the Pioneer Courthouse Square rally before a crowd of several hundred people who waved signs and cheered.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba told the crowd that he supports Sanders' run for the Democratic nomination for president.“Bernie Sanders is the first presidential candidate in my 56 years that has spoken truth regarding the widening disparity between the ultra wealthy and everyone else and the fact that they are no longer taxed accordingly,” Gamba told the cheering crowd.

Novick said he has long been a fan of Bernie Sanders.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of three contenders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Saturday’s rally was part of the campaign’s push just nine days before the Iowa caucuses, where Sanders leads his rival former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in polls.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick also told the crowd that he has long been a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders.Saturday’s rally included speeches by state Rep. Rob Nosse, Novick, rally organizer Devan Anderson, Portland school teacher Greg Burrill, Latinos for Bernie activist Juan Rogel, retired Planned Parenthood worker Barbara Van Raalte, Gamba, Realtor Nick Krautter, animator and former Marine Kyle Rossi, Portland school teacher Aubrey Pagenstacher, Don’t Shoot Portland organizer Teressa Raiford, Know Your City Executive Director Cameron Whitten, environmental activist Nick Caleb, universal health care advocate Dr. Paul Gorman and small-business owner Emma Easley Darden.

The rally was a prelude to a video speech by Sanders that was broadcast across the country to supporters.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Portland's Black Lives Matter offered support to Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential run during Saturday afternoon rally in downtown Portland.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Barbara Van Raalte of Southeast Portland talked about her experience working for Bernie Sander's campaigns for several years in Vermont.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - One sign showed support for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County occupied by armed militants for the past three weeks.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DIEGO DIAZ - Hundreds of people rallied Saturday afternoon in downtown Portland to support Sen. Bernie Sanders' run for president.