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2020

Joe Biden rolls out list of Florida Mayors backing him

Among them: Dyer, Demings, Kriseman, Gelber, Alvarez, Hunschofsky, Buckhorn.

Former Vice President Joe Biden continued to show he’s wrapping up the establishment backing in Florida with the announcement Tuesday of endorsements from 15 current and former Mayors for his presidential bid.

The list, which includes several who have been announced individually previously, includes Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, and Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky.

Several of them had previously endorsed other Democrats who have since dropped out of the race, notably Mike Bloomberg, who dropped out last week.

Biden is facing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the March 17 Democratic presidential primary. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also is still an active candidate.

Besides Dyer, Kriseman, Alvarez, Gelber, and Hunschofsky, the endorsements announced Tuesday include Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Mark Marciano, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers, Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan, Oakland Mayor Matt Sparks, Chattahoochee Mayor Ann Williams, Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, St. Petersburg Vice Mayor Kanika Tomalin, and former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Among comments offered by the Mayors in a news release issued by the Biden campaign:

“As a Senator, Joe Biden dedicated his life to improving ours and, as Vice President of the United States, he fought for policies that made our lives better and our country stronger,” Alvarez said. “Vice President Joe Biden and President [Barack] Obama worked together to end the Great Recession, expand health care to millions of Americans, made climate change a national imperative, stood up for Dreamers, and stood up to those who wish to do us harm.”

“In Orange County and across America, we know Joe Biden,” Demings said. “Whether its climate change, health care, gun safety or fighting for the rights of others, the Vice President has proven over the course of his career that he can deliver results. And when we send him back to the White House, it won’t be any different. Joe Biden is the right leader for the moment at hand.”

“In October of 2008 I received a surprise phone call from Joe as the Democratic Leader in the state Legislature after working with then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist to extend voting hours to alleviate enormous lines of mostly African American voters looking to vote in a historic election for Barack Obama,” Gelber said. “Joe was amazed we were able to work across the aisle and get that done but I explained to him that Governor Crist was a decent man who didn’t like the idea of fellow Floridians not being able to exercise their voting rights. He responded simply, ‘I’ve found there is decency in most people — and if given the opportunity they will usually choose the right path.’”

“Joe Biden will bring unparalleled experience and decency to the presidency at a time when it is sorely needed,” Kriseman said. “Just as President Barack Obama did before him, Joe will provide Americans with a sense of calm while restoring our reputation on the world stage.”

“For me the choice is easy — Joe Biden is rebuilding the Obama coalition here in the Sunshine State and across the nation on his way to defeating Donald Trump, and restoring the soul of the nation. I’m proud to once again be a part of that coalition and stand with Joe,” said Williams.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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