Biden secures backing from several swing-state Democrats

“Our country needs a steady hand, someone who can help heal the country, an experienced and proven leader who can build teams with deep expertise and work across the aisle,” Houlahan, who served in the Air Force, said in a statement released on Sunday.

“Pennsylvania is not red or blue but a purple place which our next President needs to carry to win,” she said.

The death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, on Friday has vaulted foreign policy into the 2020 race, with Biden eager to use it to contrast himself with Trump as well as his fellow Democratic candidates. Speaking in Iowa this weekend, Biden was increasingly casting himself as the most trustworthy candidate on the global stage.

The endorsement from the House Democratic centrists also comes as Biden looks to demonstrate his ability to unite the party — and the country — before early-voting purple states, like Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, weigh in next month.

Lamb, whose district went for President Donald Trump in 2016 by 3 points, stressed that Biden stood a chance to win in battleground states like his own. “I believe that the next president must attempt to unify this country,” he said.

Luria, too, represents a district that chose Trump over Hillary Clinton by 4 points.

“Joe Biden is ‘battle-tested’ on the world stage, in Congress, and in the White House,” Luria said in a statement. “He will defeat Donald Trump and win in tough districts like mine.”

Biden, who has long pitched himself as a champion for centrists, also locked up the first endorsement from the Iowa congressional delegation last week — freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer.

In the 2018 midterms, he campaigned for many of the House Democrats who ultimately flipped red seats, including Houlahan and Luria. Lamb was first elected in March 2018 in an upset special election.

Biden leads the field in overall congressional endorsements, with official support from more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who consistently polls second behind Biden, has about a half-dozen official endorsements.

Still, the vast majority of the roughly 230-member House Democratic Caucus have yet to publicly choose a candidate.

Lamb and Houlahan are the latest Democrats from Pennsylvania — where Biden has emphasized his middle-class roots in Scranton — to declare their support, along with fellow centrist Rep. Matt Cartwright. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has also endorsed Biden.

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