California Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political arm, is backing former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
“Joe Biden has dedicated his life to public service — he is relentless in his commitment to improving the lives of working families. Joe Biden will be the President to help bring stability back to our country,” Cárdenas said in a statement shared by the Biden campaign.
“Joe Biden will deliver bipartisan leadership, secure our international relationships, and make sure our economy provides for the safety and welfare of all Americans. He will bring integrity and respect back to the office of the President of the United States. I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for President,” he added.
The endorsement from the chairman of the CHC Bold PAC was first reported by The Associated Press.
“People realize it’s a matter of life and death for certain communities,” Cárdenas told the AP in an interview published Monday, on the need to defeat President Trump in 2020.
The Biden campaign touted Cárdenas’s announcement as the fifth member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and 24th member of Congress to endorse Biden.
The backing from one of the leading Latino members in Congress comes as one of Biden’s chief rival in the primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), campaigned over the weekend with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
The freshman congresswoman, one of Sanders top surrogates, hosted a town hall in Spanish in Las Vegas on Sunday during her first campaign trip to Nevada with the senator.
Ocasio-Cortez also pushed for Sanders during an interview with Noticias Telemundo that aired Sunday after the rally.
Biden and Sanders have been leading the field among Latino voters, according to polls.
A Telemundo survey of 1,000 registered Hispanic voters published in early November found that 64 percent said they would vote for a Democrat over Trump. The same poll found that Biden was the top candidate among Hispanic voters, with 26 percent support, and Sanders was the second most popular, with 18 percent support.
Hispanic votes are expected to play a key role in the election, especially in three states: Nevada, Texas and California. Nevada is one of the first four states to vote in the Democratic primary.
Latino voters made up 11 percent of all voters nationwide on Election Day in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center.
Moreover, Pew found Latino voters overwhelmingly backed Democrats in congressional races during the midterm elections that flipped the House for Democrats.
Pew also reported that Latinos made up a notable share of eligible voters in states with competitive statewide Senate and gubernatorial races, including 30 percent in Texas, 23 percent in Arizona, 20 percent in Florida and 19 percent in Nevada.