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Bernie Sanders supporters were out this morning to paint Pensacola’s iconic “Graffiti Bridge” in support of the Democratic presidential candidate.

Sanders, a Senator from Vermont who once lagged far behind frontrunner Hillary Clinton, has surged in polling in recent months. Sanders now leads Clinton in most polls in New Hampshire — the first state to hold a primary — and is polling within 15 points of Clinton in Iowa, which will hold presidential caucuses on February 1.

The Graffiti Bridge — formally known as the 17th Avenue railroad trestle — is a longstanding public art space in Pensacola. In fact, painting the bridge is such a tradition that the bridge is specifically exempted from the city’s graffiti ordinances. What’s painted on the bridge changes daily — if not hourly — but it remains a popular canvas for local art, memorials, and other causes.

A group of Bernie Sanders supporters painted Pensacola's "Graffiti Bridge" on Tuesday. (Hilary Turner/Special to the Pulse)

A group of Bernie Sanders supporters painted Pensacola’s “Graffiti Bridge” on Tuesday. (Hilary Turner/Special to the Pulse)

A group of about ten Sanders supporters spent nearly three hours painting the bridge, finishing just before 8:00 a.m. this morning. “We painted the bridge because we wanted to increase the visibility of his name and show that he has a lot of local support,” said Hilary Turner, one of the participants.

The group painted both sides of the trestle with phrases like “Pensacola for Bernie” and “Feel the Bern.”

“I am supporting Bernie Sanders because he wants real political reform, to get big money influence out of politics, close corporate tax loopholes, he wants to provide free higher education and universal healthcare, raise the minimum wage, and most importantly for me, he wants to tackle our climate and environmental crisis,” said Turner.

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