Biden picks up backing from 4 more black lawmakers

A group of black lawmakers endorsed Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, giving the previous vice chairman his 15th endorsement from the influential Congressional Black Caucus.

Reps. Frederica Wilson and Alcee Hastings of Florida, Donald Payne Jr. of latest Jersey and Sanford Bishop of Georgia each backed Biden during a joint statement first obtained by POLITICO, casting him because the candidate who can beat President Donald Trump in November and unify the state.

“ Joe Biden has the experience, vision, and heart to reunify our country after four years of Donald Trump,” said Hastings, who added that Biden is ready to step in as commander in chief on Day One. “ He has the proven ability to connect and empathize with folks of all backgrounds. At a time when our president is doing everything he possibly can to divide our nation, Joe will be a driving force for healing and unity.”

Wilson and Hastings had previously endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who suspended her presidential campaign last month, while Payne to begin with backed home-state Sen. Cory Booker of latest Jersey, who dropped out of the race last week.

The batch of additional support for Biden comes but a fortnight before Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. Biden is among the group of 4 front-runners who are closely bunched at the highest of public polling in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Biden features a slightly larger advantage over his rivals in Nevada, a more diverse state that caucuses after New Hampshire, and a double-digit lead over his closest competitor in South Carolina, whose primary is at the top of February and where black voters structure roughly 60 percent of the electorate. “ He’s always been there for our communities,” Payne said. “ There is too much at stake in this election and we need someone like Joe Biden, who from Day One will make the needs of working families the centerpiece of his administration.”

Biden allies expect momentum from a dominant performance in South Carolina to hold him through Super Tuesday on the way to securing the Democratic nomination for president.

The four members who endorsed Biden each represent states that vote beyond Super Tuesday, March 3: Florida’s primary is St Patrick's Day, Georgia’s is March 24 and New Jersey’s is June 2.

Before Harris ended her White House bid, the battle to secure the foremost endorsements from black members of Congress was a two-person race between her and Biden. Harris announced her 11th endorsement in November. Booker’s two CBC endorsements came from African American members of the latest Jersey’s congressional delegation.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, the only black candidate left, has no endorsements from the CBC, while Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Mayors Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Mike Bloomberg of latest York each have one.

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