Bernie Sanders embraces a new role: Democratic front-runner

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Bernie Sanders is embracing a new role: front-runner.

The Vermont senator leads the pack of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in fundraising and is drawing big crowds in early voting states. Sanders raised more than $18 million in the first fundraising quarter, far outpacing his rivals.

Sanders is embracing his new status.

He draws explicit comparisons with President Donald Trump in his campaign remarks, previewing his approach to a general election faceoff with the incumbent Republican. He’s also building out a larger, more diverse campaign operation. That’s in response to criticism that his 2016 organization skewed too heavily white and male.

Campaign officials say the 2020 campaign staff of roughly 100 people and growing is majority female and 40 percent people of color.