Alan Clendenin calls on Joe Biden to leave presidential race, Kamala Harris to carry Democrats’ torch

The Tampa City Council member joins a growing list of national figures doing the same.

Tampa City Council member Alan Clendenin, a member of the Democratic National Committee, came out on Sunday in favor of replacing President Joe Biden as the party’s presidential nominee.

He added to a trickle of Democratic officials calling on the incumbent President to stand down from his candidacy after what most watchers over the past week and a half viewed as a disastrous debate performance against former President Donald Trump. 

“Joe Biden will be remembered by historians as one of t.he finest Presidents in American history, but this election is about the next four years, not the last three and a half. The future of the Republic as we know is in imminent danger and we must hold our country above our party or any one individual,” Clendenin said in a statement.

“As a senior member of the Democratic National Committee I believe it is in the best interest of our country and the world that President Joe Biden step aside and allow Vice President Kamala Harris to carry forward his agenda as our Democratic nominee.”

The statement comes one day before First Lady Jill Biden is set to campaign for her husband in Tampa.

Clendenin’s statement also came as Biden was in Pennsylvania rallying support for his candidacy. The crucial swing state helped deliver him victory over Trump in 2020.

Biden has so far refused to bow out of the race, remaining defiant in the face of continued questions regarding his fitness to serve another four years in the world’s most demanding job. 

Biden said on Friday in an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that he doesn’t “think anybody’s more qualified to be President or win this race” than he is. That sentiment doesn’t track with either recent polls or among other Democratic leaders who either publicly or privately are expressing concern. 

A New York Times/Siena College poll taken after the debate showed him 6 points behind Trump among likely voters nationwide, a 3-point drop from his deficit before the debate. A CBS News/YouGov poll taken after the debate found that 72% of registered voters believe Biden doesn’t have the mental or cognitive acuity to serve another term as President. 

And while Biden dismissed those numbers in his Friday interview, some Democratic lawmakers have responded. As of Sunday morning, five U.S. House Democrats had called on Biden to leave the race, including Angie Craig of Minnesota, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Mike Quigley of Illinois and Raul Grijalva of Arizona.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey became the first Democratic Governor to call on Biden to reevaluate his candidacy, though she stopped short of directly calling on him to leave the race. Others have done the same, and it appears some are ready to join ranks in the coming days unless there are drastic changes on the campaign trail. 

House Democrats fear Biden’s continued candidacy and place at the top of the ticket could affect them down-ballot, particularly in tight races in swing districts. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is attempting to assemble a coalition in the upper chamber to press Biden to drop out, though none has so far. 

Clendenin is a first-term City Council member in Tampa, serving in a non-partisan role. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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