Biden picks up backing in Illinois as campaigns pivot toward upcoming primaries
Super Tuesday is so yesterday.
The two front-runners in the Democratic presidential primary are pivoting to states like Illinois that are rich in delegates.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced new endorsements from U.S. Reps. Bill Foster of Naperville and Mike Quigley of Chicago and plans to hold a fundraiser in Chicago March 13.
Meanwhile, rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a strong network of dedicated volunteers in the state from his 2016 primary run and has scheduled rallies at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Chicago's Grant Park and in Rockford on Tuesday.
After slumping in February, Biden has bounced back -- winning 10 states in Tuesday's primary while Sanders scored a significant victory in California.
Also making the primary interesting, after elections where the outcome is often foreordained, is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, supported by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.
Candidate and billionaire businessman Mike Bloomberg announced Wednesday he is dropping out and backing Biden.
Biden also has support from U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson.
Foster said of Biden, "I worked up close with him throughout the depths of the Great Recession, and I saw him push job-saving, lifesaving bills through Congress, with a steady hand and a big heart.
"Today more than ever, our nation is reminded how crucial it is to have a president who believes in facts, science, and reason," Foster added in a statement.
There are 155 delegate spots up for grabs in Illinois. Six states have primaries March 10, and Illinois shares its March 17 primary date with Arizona, Florida and Ohio.
Prominent Democrats yet to endorse include Gov. J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg, Sean Casten of Downers Grove and Lauren Underwood of Naperville.
Quigley, who grew up in Carol Stream, stated, "In Chicago, we know something about toughness and resilience, and nobody embodies that spirit more than Joe Biden.
"On all the issues that matter most in our community, Joe has been standing beside us for decades."
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar left the Democratic presidential race earlier this week after disappointing results in the South Carolina primary. Both endorsed Biden.
Former Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein was so enthused about "Mayor Pete," he traveled to Iowa to campaign for him.
Now he's behind Biden, who "best reflects a similar pragmatic progressive approach with a commitment to unify the country," Hartstein said.