Biden makes it official, announcing 2020 run

Local Democrats: Former VP a welcoming addition to race

Mike Baggerman
April 25, 2019 - 3:00 am
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Joe Biden made it official early Thursday, tweeting his official entry into the 2020 Presidential sweepstakes.

It's a welcoming addition to the race for local politician and former Congressional candidate Nate McMurray, who was endorsed by Biden during the 2018 midterms.

“A very few national leaders cared to even look our way,” McMurray told WBEN by phone. “Joe Biden stuck his neck out, came out here, and spent a whole day with me and my family. He was a great help to us.”

Biden visited Western New York ahead of last year’s midterms and formally endorsed McMurray, calling him “solid” and “bright as hell”. Despite the endorsement, McMurray ultimately lost the race in NY-27 to Chris Collins by 1,384 votes across the congressional district.

McMurray said he’s excited by what Biden has to offer on issues such as international relations and the state of health care in America.

“He was really concerned about those things and we talked about them in great depth,” McMurray added. “I think his background and personal experience will come forward in the future and I hope it comes forward in the race.”

Biden joins a crowded field of candidates for the democratic nomination for president which includes Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and more.

A poll by the University of New Hampshire Granite State shows Bernie Sanders leading the statistics with Joe Biden a distant second. Sanders has a plurality of the voting block with 30 percent while Biden has 18 percent. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in at third while the remaining nominees have five percent or less.

To put the fight for the Democratic nomination into perspective, Canisius College Political Science professor Bob Klump put it this way. "When the South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was born in 1982, Joe Biden had already been a U.S. Senator from Delaware for about a decade." 

Klump says Biden's age is both a plus, in terms of experience, and a minus, because of the drift to the left in the Democratic party since 2016.  There's concern that Biden may be out of step.

Brian Nowak was a vocal supporter of Sanders during the 2016 campaign.

“I’m not looking at it as Biden vs. Sanders primarily,” Nowak said. “Taken on the merits, he certainly brings a lot of goods to the table. One of the concerns I have (for Biden) is the vote he cast for the War in Iraq in 2002. That’s very problematic for me but there’s a lot that he brings to the table.”

Nowak thinks that the Biden vote on Iraq that could come up in the general election should Biden receive the primary. He said he’s not sure if it would come up in the primary.

Nowak described the democratic race as a “healthy exchange of ideas” and “constructive”.

“Anybody who says they know who the nominee is going to be, I don’t think they’re being an honest broker,” Nowak added. “We’ll have to see how the primary plays out.”

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