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Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden

The Hill logo The Hill 1/13/2020 Rebecca Klar
Colin Allred wearing a suit and tie: Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden © Greg Nash Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden

Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas) is backing Joe Biden's presidential bid, giving the former vice president his 10th endorsement from a Congressional Black Caucus member.

The congressman said Biden's "fighting spirit" and "record of accomplishment" make him the candidate best-suited to unite America and fight for middle-class Americans.

"We need a President who will deliver for the American people, and no candidate in this race has done more to fight so that every American can have access to their version of the American dream than Joe Biden," Allred said in a statement Monday.

Allred had endorsed Julián Castro before the Texan ended his 2020 campaign, but the congressman hailed Biden as a candidate that can win over key moderate or Republican-leaning voters in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We have to nominate someone in the Democratic Party who can unite the country and heal the divisions that are going on," Allred told the AP.

"We've always done our best when we've nominated candidates who've attracted independents and disaffected Republicans," he said. "That's what President Obama did. That's what Bill Clinton did. When we've pursued the route of ideological purity it's tended not to work, particularly at the national level."

Allred flipped a suburban Dallas-area district in 2018, unseating 22-year incumbent GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. The former Obama administration lawyer and NFL player became the first Democrat and first African American to represent Texas's 32nd District.

He's the latest swing-district Democrat to back Biden in the race. Biden has picked up support from at least four other House Democrats who flipped GOP-held seats to help give Democrats a majority in the House: Reps. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.)

Biden's more progressive opponents, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have picked up endorsements from some of the party's most high-profile, left-leaning politicians. Biden, however, is leading the race in backing from Congressional Black Caucus members since Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped out of the primary.

Sanders was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in October, boosting his campaign after the senator's heart attack. Warren was endorsed by first-term Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.), as well as Castro after he ended his own campaign.

Both Sanders and Warren are campaigning on policies including "Medicare for All" proposals and wealth tax plans.

Allred reportedly suggested that the party's shift to the left may not align with most Americans' values.

"This is not just theoretical policy discussion," he told AP. "People are driven by values and people who appeal to those values. That's what we're trying to do, is make Americans understand that we're on their side."

- This report was updated at 8:13 a.m.

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