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Durbin endorses Biden: He 'can start to heal the wounds of this divided nation'

Durbin endorses Biden: He 'can start to heal the wounds of this divided nation'
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Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, has endorsed Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE as the former vice president continues to rack up support from establishment Democrats for his White House bid.

Durbin’s endorsement comes ahead of Illinois’s primary on March 17, when 155 pledged delegates will be up for grabs. Durbin, who joined Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) in backing Biden, said the former vice president would be able to unite the country and relate to issues facing average Americans. 

“America needs a President who can start to heal the wounds of this divided nation. Joe Biden will be that President,” Durbin said in a statement.

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“America needs a President who understands that most Americans worry more about the supermarket than the stock market. That family struggling paycheck to paycheck needs a leader who remembers them every day,” he added. “America needs a President who will expand the protections of the ACA so every family, every person has access to affordable, quality health care. Joe Biden will be that President.”

Durbin, who has heaped praise on Biden in the past and worked with him for years in the Senate, is the latest in a string of Illinois lawmakers who have come out in support of him following his string of victories in 10 of 14 Super Tuesday states.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department MORE and Reps. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyBiden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds Democrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol House approves bill banning big cat ownership after Netflix's 'Tiger King' MORE, Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyDemocrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Lawmakers push for improved diabetes care through tech advancements MORE and Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterHillicon Valley: WhatsApp delays controversial privacy update | Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit alleging e-book price fixing | Biden launches new Twitter account ahead of inauguration Illinois Democrat calls for new committee focused exclusively on information technology Working together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 MORE all came out this week to endorse Biden, joining Reps. Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderDemocrats seize on GOP donor fallout The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and Danny DavisDaniel (Danny) K. Davis7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics More than 100 Democrats press Trump to extend jobless benefits Democrats urge Treasury to assist Social Security recipients who miss key coronavirus payment deadline MORE who had previously backed his White House bid.

Both Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Woman who made Sanders's mittens says she's sold out MORE (I-Vt.) are expected to heavily contest the primary in Illinois, one of four states holding nominating contests on March 17. The Land of Lincoln will have the second-highest delegate haul of the day behind Florida. 

Southern Illinois University poll released last month showed Sanders with a 5-point lead in the state, though the survey was conducted before Biden’s winning spree from South Carolina and Super Tuesday.