Bernie Sanders is heading into the first Democratic primary debate with some new momentum.

On Monday, the Vermont senator nabbed the endorsement of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

"I'm endorsing Bernie because he is talking about the issues that are important to American families," Ellison told MSNBC Monday. "His candidacy is important for many reasons, but I believe the most important part of his candidacy is that it has the ability to create a renaissance in voter participation, which was at its lowest in decades this past election cycle."

"We've all seen the massive crowds he is attracting, and I think that is a testament to his message connecting with people, people we will need to turn out in November," Ellison added.

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