Biden Returns To Southland, Picks Up Endorsements From L.A., Long Beach Mayors

Joe Biden - Photographer: Gage Skidmore
Joe Biden - Photographer: Gage Skidmore

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Former Vice President Joe Biden will conclude a two-day Southland campaign swing today, meeting with Eric Garcetti to tout the Los Angeles mayor’s endorsement, while Democratic rival Pete Buttigieg will tour a Watts transitional housing project for the homeless.
  
Garcetti announced his endorsement of Biden

Thursday, calling the former vice president “a close personal friend who has been an incredible partner in delivering progress for L.A.”
  
“He came to L.A. and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me to make us the first big city to enact a $15 minimum wage, and he brought leaders from all over the world to our city to forge the most sweeping climate agreement prior to the Paris accords,” Garcetti said in a statement.
  
Garcetti praised the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, but said, “I will never forget what Joe Biden has done for my city and our nation.”
  
In conjunction with his endorsement announcement, Garcetti was named a national co-chair of the Biden campaign. Biden and Garcetti will make a joint appearance Friday morning at the headquarters of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City union in the Westlake District.
  
Biden on Thursday also picked up the endorsement of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. The pair toured the $1.3 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project at the Port of Long Beach Thursday afternoon.
  
Biden is “ready to lead our country on day one, and we’re just grateful for his leadership here and grateful to show him this amazing facility and this port, which is the second-largest container port in the United States,” Garcia told reporters.

Garcia originally endorsed California Sen. Kamala Harris, who has since exited the race.
  
Biden praised Garcia and said he values his support.

“He’s one of the up-and-coming mayors in the country,” Biden said.

“He has a significant, significant following. It means a lot to me that he endorsed me.”
  
Biden spoke for about 30 minutes at a fundraiser in Irvine Thursday night and is expected to attend another in Los Angeles Friday before heading to Nevada for several days of campaigning.
  
Biden has held fundraisers for four consecutive days — Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Tuesday in New York City and the Philadelphia suburb of Gladwyne and Monday in New York City.
  
Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will take a tour Friday morning of one of Los Angeles’ “A Bridge Home” transitional housing projects for the homeless. He will be joined on the tour by City Councilman Joe Buscaino.
  
A Bridge Home Imperial is a shelter providing interim housing and supportive services for 100 women and men from the neighborhood who were previously homeless, according to The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
  
Buttigieg is also scheduled to attend a pair of fundraising events in the area, including an early evening gathering in Sherman Oaks. Like Biden, Buttigieg will also head to Nevada following his Southland appearance. He is scheduled to attend a rally Saturday afternoon at a Las Vegas high school.