Dallas mayor backs Joe Biden for 2020 over two Texan candidates

Dallas mayor backs Joe Biden for 2020 over two Texan candidates

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) announced his support for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE in the 2020 presidential election, calling him the candidate who can defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE.

"Job No. 1 is to make sure Donald Trump is not president for four more years," Rawlings told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. "Joe Biden is the candidate I know will beat him."

“Joe Biden is anything but a buffoon,” he added.

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The two-term mayor’s endorsement brushes off the two Texans in the crowded field of more than 20 Democrats running for president — former El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former San Antonio mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.

Rawlings endorsed O’Rourke in last year’s Texas Senate race over Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats: It's Trump's world, and we're just living in it On The Trail: Bernie Sanders and the paradox of choice Pompeo to speak to influential conservative group in Iowa MORE (R-Texas).

"I've met a lot of the candidates and you root for the Texans," Rawlings told the Morning News. "But what Joe Biden brings is an improvement in wisdom that America needs right now.”  

Biden responded to the endorsement Wednesday by celebrating Rawlings’s accomplishments in office. 

"Over the last eight years, Mike Rawlings has led the city of Dallas through an unprecedented era of growth, investing in public education and working to reduce poverty,” Biden told the newspaper. "I'm honored to have received his endorsement today.”

Biden visited Texas this week for a number of events. He attended the American Federation of Teachers town hall meeting Tuesday in Houston, and on Wednesday will attend a Democratic fundraiser and join Rawlings for a public event on education. Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, also reportedly traveled to Dallas to visit Rawlings’s wife.

Rawlings added that he supports Biden’s focus on addressing inequalities across the country. He spoke with Biden multiple times before announcing his endorsement, according to the paper.

"Closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots is tops on his agenda," Rawlings told the newspaper. "That's right up my alley."

Biden, who announced his campaign late last month, has quickly established himself as the front-runner. Both O'Rourke and Castro have seen lagging polling numbers, with 3.8 and 1.2 percent, respectively, in the RealClearPolitics average of recent 2020 primary polls, while Biden has 34.8 percent in the crowded field.