- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The office of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says a record number of Vermont high school students entered his annual State of the Union essay contest this year.

He says 799 students from 39 schools wrote essays of between 250 and 500 words giving their views on the state of the union. Twenty entries have been chosen as finalists.

President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

The sixth annual contest, timed to coincide with the president’s speech, gives students a chance to address what they see as the major issues facing the country.

The 20 finalists will have their essays entered into the Congressional Record.

The winner will be announced in the coming days.

Sanders is seeking the Democratic nomination for president this year.

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