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Biden picks up endorsements from nearly 100 Republicans

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE (D) was endorsed Thursday by a group representing almost 100 former Republican lawmakers and officials who have joined an effort to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE in November.

The new group, Republicans & Independents for Biden, is led by former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) and said that its "sole mission is to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden the next President of the United States."

“More than 180,000 Americans are dead from a pandemic that, with consistent leadership, could have been contained. Instead, it has been left to spin out of control by a President who ignored it, refused to lead, and endangered American lives,” Whitman said in a statement. “In this moment of great national crisis, we need to elect a leader matched to the moment, someone who can restore competence to the oval office and unify the country. Joe Biden is that leader.”

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The Republican group, which was first reported by Reuters, also includes a handful of former governors including former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads Biden picks up endorsements from nearly 100 Republicans MORE (R), who launched a bid for the GOP nomination earlier this year and previously served as the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 2016.

"Joe Biden is a man of deep faith and commitment to family, decency and integrity, which will serve us all well when he is in the White House," Snyder said. “We must elect Joe Biden in November so that we can begin the arduous but essential process of healing America and putting society back on a positive path where civility and working together help us achieve great things as a nation once again.”

Others such as former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe magnificent moderation of Susan Collins The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare front and center; transition standoff continues Republicans who could serve in a Biden government MORE (R-Pa.), who endorsed Biden in a CNN op-ed last month, were also on the list of officials signed on to the effort. In a news release, the group says it plans to target GOP-leaning and independent voters in battleground states where the president is within single digits of the former vice president in many cases.

A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found the two candidates virtually tied in Pennsylvania, one of Trump's key pickups over former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years The Hill's 12:30 Report - Third vaccine candidate with 90% efficacy Biden won — so why did Trump's popularity hit its highest point ever? MORE (D) in 2016.