U.S. Senator and Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is expected to be in the metro-east on Friday.
According to a tweet from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Sanders will be at the university’s Vadalabene Center at 10 a.m. Friday.
Sanders, a Vermont senator who is vying with former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, will be the first presidential candidate to visit the metro-east as part of the 2016 primary season.
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“We are incredibly excited,” said Grant Handy, president of the College Democrats of SIUE and a senior at the university. “We are really excited to see the presidential campaign represented in the metro-east.”
Friday’s event will be open to the public, and doors will open at 8 a.m., according to a follow-up tweet sent by SIUE Wednesday evening. Sanders is set to speak at 10:30 a.m. There will be free parking available in outer lots.
The Illinois primary is March 15.
Sanders’ proposals include free tuition at public universities. Some of his strongest support comes from college students and young adults.
Clinton won at least 508 delegates on Super Tuesday while Bernie Sanders gained at least 342.
There were 865 delegates at stake in 11 states and the American Samoa. There are still 15 delegates left to be allocated.
The numbers reflect the uphill battle for Sanders as he seeks a path forward to become the Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton now has nearly half the delegates needed to clinch the nomination, heading into another batch of contests in delegate-rich states in the coming weeks.
Including super delegates, the party leaders who can support any candidate, Clinton now has 1,056 delegates. Sanders has at least 429.
It takes 2,383 delegates to win.
Presidents and presidential candidates in the metro-east
Bernie Sanders would be the latest in a string of U.S. presidents or presidential candidates who have visited Madison County while campaigning or while in office.
President Obama visited Madison County while campaigning for the U.S. Senate and while he was campaigning for president.
John F. Kennedy came to Madison County during the 1960 campaign. He also visited Belleville in 1960.
Jimmy Carter came to Madison County when he was seeking re-election in 1980.
Bill Clinton came to Madison County during the primary season both in 1992 and again in 2008, while stumping for Hillary Clinton.
George W. Bush, while serving as president, visited Madison County in 2005 to highlight the court-reform issue.
Abraham Lincoln practiced law and participated in a debate in Alton.
Ronald Reagan visited St. Clair County, making a stop at Fischer’s Restaurant in Belleville in the 1970s.