WASHINGTON — Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., announced her endorsement of Joe Biden on Monday, with the former vice president looking to consolidate support in the wake of his landslide South Carolina win and before crucial March presidential primary votes.
Duckworth’s relationship with Biden goes back years. Her endorsement comes the day before Super Tuesday votes in 14 states and the day after former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out. Biden hopes to narrow the field to a showdown between him and Bernie Sanders as the primary season advances.
Buttigieg did not endorse anyone when he quit the race on Sunday, though his deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told MSNBC on Monday morning that Biden and Buttigieg talked.
Before her election as a senator from Illinois, President Barack Obama tapped Duckworth to serve in the administration as a top Veterans Affairs official.
The wounded Iraq war vet said in a statement, “Those of us who’ve served this nation in uniform understand just how important it is for the Commander in Chief to have not only the depth of experience needed to protect our country, but also the humility to recognize the magnitude of the sacrifices our troops make on their orders,” she said.
“As a combat Veteran and former Assistant VA Secretary, I know that Joe Biden won’t just pay lip service to those sacrifices, he’ll make sure our troops and Veterans receive the support, care and respect they’ve earned. Joe also has a proven record of not just promising to help the little guy and communities of color like Donald Trump, but Joe actually delivers for them — he’s earned our trust. I’m supporting Joe Biden because he will unite our party and country, restore dignity to the White House and rebuild trust in our government with decency, optimism and experience,” she said.
Duckworth is the seventh senator to endorse Biden. Over the weekend, the Biden campaign also announced the endorsement of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J. B. Pritzker have not yet endorsed.
The Illinois primary is March 17. Early voting started Monday.