In Illinois, Joe Biden picks up endorsements of Raja Krishnamoothi, Bobby Rush, Susana Mendoza

The former vice president now has the backing of three African American members of Congress from Illinois — Rush and Reps. Robin Kelly and Danny Davis.

SHARE In Illinois, Joe Biden picks up endorsements of Raja Krishnamoothi, Bobby Rush, Susana Mendoza
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden meets workers as he tours the Fiat Chrysler plant in Detroit on Tuesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden meets workers as he tours the Fiat Chrysler plant in Detroit on Tuesday.

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Looking ahead to Tuesday’s Illinois primary, Joe Biden got the endorsement Wednesday of Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, adding to his list of local Democratic elected officials who support the former vice president over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

On Tuesday, a week before Illinois votes, Biden picked up the Democratic presidential primary endorsements of state Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois.

Wearing a Biden T-shirt, Mendoza joined the Biden election-night celebration at the Old Crow Smokehouse, 149 W Kinzie St., where a crowd gathered to watch election results from Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and North Dakota.

Biden “has shown the ability to bring people together while fighting for working families who have been left behind,” according to Krishnamoorthi. “Between his lifetime of public service and the personal challenges he has faced, Joe embodies humanity and empathy at a time when those qualities are sorely lacking in the White House but remain necessary to address the struggles Americans face every day.

“We need a nominee who can defeat Donald Trump while honoring our founding principles — that all people are created equal no matter where they come from, how they worship or whom they love.Joe Biden is that person.”

Earlier, Rush backed — before they folded their bids — first Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and then former New York Mayor MikeBloomberg. Rush was a national co-chair of Bloomberg’s campaign.

Biden now has the backing of three African American members of Congress from Illinois — Rush and Reps. Danny Davis and Robin Kelly whose districts have the highest concentration of black voters in the state.

A fourth, freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Illinois, who is facing a tough re-election bid from a Republican-leaning district, is staying out of presidential politics.

Mendoza told the Chicago Sun-Times she waited to make an endorsement because, “I wanted to see what the other candidates were talking about,” observe how their campaigns unfolded and watch how they did in debates.

“We were guilty of having an amazing field of people running,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza — the highest ranking female Hispanic elected official in Illinois — said the former vice president “embodies the character and the experience we need to bring our country together to heal after four years of Donald Trump. He was a loyal partner to President Obama. And throughout his entire career, Joe’s led with dignity and empathy — writing the Violence Against Women Act, banning assault weapons, and protecting our climate. America needs Joe Biden.”

Rush said in a written statement: “In my mind, Joe Biden is the only candidate who not only has what it takes to defeat Donald Trump, but to also unite the country, keep our House majority intact, and actually enact meaningful legislation to improve the lives of my constituents.We cannot afford to squander this opportunity on untested theories and unqualified candidates.Electing Joe Biden is our only surefire chance to take back the White House, as well as the very soul of this nation, from the impending autocratic grip of this demagogic Chairman-in-Chief.”

On Friday, with Jill Biden at their side, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, endorsed Biden, with other members of the Illinois congressional delegation who earlier endorsed.

Gov. J. B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle have stayed out of the presidential race. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, was with Elizabeth Warren. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., is Sanders most prominent Illinois elected endorser.

BIDEN CHICAGO RALLY FRIDAY

Biden has a rally scheduled for Friday night in Chicago. Earlier on Friday, Biden will be in the city for several fundraising events. The Biden campaign is watching the coronavirus situation to determine if the Chicago rally takes place as scheduled.

Because of coronavirus concerns, the Biden campaign “out of an abundance of caution,” cancelled a Tuesday night rally in Cleveland, Ohio. The Sanders campaign also cancelled a Cleveland election night rally.

Instead, Biden delivered primary election night comments at an event in Philadelphia, where his national campaign headquarters is located.

Next Tuesday, primaries will be held in Illinois, Ohio, Florida and Arizona.

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