Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed four down ballot candidates running for Secretary of State in key states for the midterm and presidential election cycles. He made the announcement in an email sent out to supporters of American Possibilities, his political action committee. He cited protection of voting rights as his reason for the endorsements, writing that one of the best ways to accomplish this goal was “by electing strong Secretaries of State, the folks responsible for overseeing elections, all across the country.”
Biden has maintained his public profile by endorsing several state and congressional candidates across the country in the past several months, fueling speculation about whether he is considering another White House run. Biden told the Washington Post that he did not know what he was going to do.
The four candidates to receive Biden’s endorsement were attorney Jena Griswold in Colorado, former Wayne State University Law School dean Jocelyn Benson in Michigan, Assemblyman Nelson Araujo in Nevada, and State Rep. Kathleen Clyde in Ohio. All four states have open races for governor because of term-limited incumbents. Only Colorado does not have a Senate race in the current cycle. All four are competitive swing states in presidential elections.
The significance of the secretaries of state who are elected in this cycle is that they will become the top elections officials in their respective states for the 2020 presidential cycle, which will make them responsible for managing primaries, protecting the integrity of the election systems and process, and certifying the results.
Griswold won her party’s nomination in the Colorado primary this evening.
In the past few days, governors from both parties have stated their opposition to President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” which has resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families at the border. Some governors issued statements, while others like Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker and Roy Cooper took action by recalling their National Guard troops that had been deployed to protect the border.
Here is the list, in alphabetical order by state, as of the night of June 19:
For political context, Hickenlooper (D) and Malloy (D) are term-limited. Baker (R), Hogan (R), Raimondo (D), Scott (R), Sununu (R), and Wolf (D) are running for reelection. Carney (D), Cooper (D), and Northam (D) are in the middle of their current terms.
Tom Perez’s campaign for Democratic National Committee chairman announced four big gets today: governors John Hickenlooper (Colorado), John Bel Edwards (Louisiana), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island) and Terry McAuliffe (Virginia).
CNN’s Marshall Cohen points out the significance of the endorsements:
Some context: Two of those states (Colorado and Virginia) are considered swing states but have been Democratic success stories over the course of the past decade in statewide and presidential elections. Rhode Island is in reliably Democratic New England. Louisiana – which has elected statewide Democrats in the past but has turned more Republican in recent years – is probably the most surprising endorsement of the bunch. Democrat Foster Campbell just lost the run-off race for the Louisiana Senate seat a few weeks ago.