By Nick Reisman
February 4, 2016
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The campaign of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Thursday filed tens of thousands of petition signatures in order to gain access to the New York ballot ahead of the state's April 19 primary.
"The energy is astounding," said Arthur Schwartz, Sanders Campaign NY Counsel. "I think what the energy built off was our petitioners were out petitioning and the reports I got were they were greated with hugs, joy, smiles, honking horns, everywhere they went.
Sanders faces Hillary Clinton in her adopted home state in April as he surges ahead with his campaign built on young people and liberals who worry about income inequality, the cost of education and climate change.
"He's been a consistent progressive. We believe it's in his bones," said Allen Roskoff, Jim Owles Democratic Club president.
Sanders supporters say that he's been consistent, while Clinton's views have shifted over the years.
"They're just very, very different people; always moderates for Clinton, progressives Bernie," said Roskoff.
Consistency is a word Sanders supporters at the rally outside of the state's Board of Elections headquarters used to describe his appeal, but they also believe he can make his platform a reality.
"This is the first time in a really long time we've had a consistent, authentic, sincere candidate who speaks the same message throughout his whole career who has a record of accomplishing these things and finding compromise where appropriate," said Mira Bowin, Sanders delegate.
Sanders faces an uphill climb in New York, where Clinton represented the state in the U.S. Senate for eight years, but Sanders supporters say he shouldn't be counted out.