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Nancy Pelosi just got a challenger and he's a 'pretty hard-core' Bernie Sanders supporter

 (Stephen R. Jaffe for Congress campaign)
(Stephen R. Jaffe for Congress campaign)

San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Jaffe is a lifelong Democrat and he intends to do what no Democrat has been able to do so far: make it to a runoff election against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Jaffe, 71, is an employment attorney who became a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign last year.

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FOR THE RECORD

1:08 p.m.: A previous version of this post misstated Jaffe's age as 72.

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"I was a pretty hard-core Bernie supporter," said Jaffe, who gave money to the campaign and volunteered during the Nevada caucuses. He was one of two attorneys who filed for an injunction on behalf of Sanders supporters in the California primary, requesting "re-votes" and an extension of the voter registration deadline. (The request was denied.)

Jaffe said he was "devastated" by Sanders' loss to Hillary Clinton in the primary season and that Sanders, in part, inspired him to run. He says he supports single-payer healthcare and criticized Pelosi for raising money from corporations and special interests.

Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in the House, has never faced a serious challenger on the left in her liberal San Francisco district. Preston Picus, another Sanders supporter who ran as a no-party-preference candidate, came the closest when he received 19% of the vote in November, according to the California Target Book.

"I know that Ms. Pelosi's strategy has been to essentially ignore anyone who has challenged her, but I anticipate she'll have a more difficult time doing that with my candidacy," Jaffe said in an interview. He thinks if local, progressive activists can propel him to a runoff with Pelosi, he'll have a "quite realistic chance" of winning.

"There's a rumbling, a wave of activism here by people who have really never stepped forward before."

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