Biden racks up endorsements from Durbin, Lightfoot

Former Vice President Joe Biden clinched two of Illinois' Democratic establishment endorsements Friday with nods from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

The Democratic presidential nomination is down to two front-runners - Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"America needs a president who understands that most Americans worry more about the supermarket than the stock market," Durbin said. "That family struggling paycheck to paycheck needs a leader who remembers them every day. Joe Biden will be that president."

Still uncommitted are suburban U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and Lauren Underwood of Naperville and arguably the state's best-funded Democrat - Gov. J.B. Pritzker. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston had backed Elizabeth Warren, who left the race Thursday.

Lightfoot said, "Joe Biden has a plan to strengthen our criminal justice system by reducing incarceration rates and rooting out racial and gender-based disparities.

"I know President Biden will make Chicago a partner, not an adversary," added Lightfoot who has clashed with Republican President Donald Trump's administration on immigration and crime.

Illinois holds 155 delegate spots, a prize recognized by both Biden and Sanders, who are ramping up visits and events before the March 17 primary.

Although Democratic Party heavyweights are gravitating to Biden, perceived as the mainstream candidate, Sanders garnered 999,494 votes to rival Hillary Clinton's 1,039,555 in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, 48.6%, and has grass-roots loyalists across the state.

Area lawmakers on board for Biden so far are: U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and U.S. Reps. Sean Casten of Downers Grove, Bill Foster of Naperville, Mike Quigley of Chicago, Brad Schneider of Deerfield and Robin Kelly of Matteson.

U.S. Rep. Jesús G. "Chuy" Garcia of Chicago has committed to Sanders.

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Lori Lightfoot
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