Sen. Bernie Sanders has no plans to run as a Democrat, and will keep his independent affiliation when he runs to keep his seat in the 2018 midterm election.
Sanders confirmed his decision to Fox News during an interview Sunday night.
"I am an independent and I have always run in Vermont as an independent, while I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate. That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do," said Sanders.
Sanders has recently faced pressure to join the Democratic party after making an unsuccessful run for the party's presidential nomination in 2016. The move upset some within the party, despite the senator's eventual concession to Hillary Clinton.
Democratic National Committee member Bob Mulholland introduced a resolution to the party which would have forced Sanders and his fellow independent Sen. Angus King to officially join the party next year. The move was an apparent attempt to consolidate the progressive vote. The resolution failed to reach the requisite simple majority during the committee's fall meeting two days ago.
"I thought we were Democrats here," said Mulholland, as reported by the Washington Post. "When the Yankees face off against the Dodgers, the only people who will be independent in that ballpark will be the umpires."
Indepenents like Sanders operate in a sort of a political gray area. Though he has reportedly referred to the Democratic party as "ideologically bankrupt" in the past, he pushed to join the party's caucus in an effort to secure committee assignments and votes for legislation, according to Politifact. He apparently keeps himself in good graces by voting with the party at a higher than average rate.