Joe Biden has earned the support of a first-term House Democrat from Iowa, who faces a reelection fight this year to hold on to the congressional district she flipped from red to blue last cycle.
Rep. Abby Finkenauer, 31, announced she was endorsing Biden, 77, a month before the Iowa Democratic caucuses on Feb. 3. She will campaign with the former vice president this week during his four-day swing through the state.
“Joe Biden’s character, record, and commitment to rebuilding the backbone of the country — the middle class — is what Iowa and this country needs,” she said in a statement released by Biden’s team. “It’s time we have leadership in the White House who believes in the value of not only uniting a divided Congress, but uniting our country through common sense, dignity, and respect.”
Finkenauer became the second-youngest woman elected to Congress in 2018 after she won her eastern Iowa seat, covering Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Waterloo. The state’s 1st Congressional District voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but backed President Trump in 2016. It now leans Democratic but only just, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Iowa, as a state, voted for Trump over then-Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by about 10 percentage points.
Finkenauer is the first of Iowa’s three House Democrats to endorse a 2020 presidential candidate after hosting a forum for White House hopefuls last November. Although she is engaged to Minnesota Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Iowa political director Daniel Wasta, Finkenauer supported Biden’s 2008 presidential bid, working to help elect him while she was still a student. The 36-year Delaware senator returned the favor by holding a rally with her Cedar Rapids ahead of the 2018 midterms.
Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada is the only other member of Congress from that early nominating contest state or Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina to endorse ahead of voting. Finkenauer joins former Obama administration agriculture secretary and two-term Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as Biden’s other big-name supporter in the state.
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