January 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney endorses Biden
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) leads House Democrats in a brief before the Supreme Court case. (Washington Blade photo by Tom Hausman)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), one of seven openly members of the U.S. House, has thrown his support behind former Vice President Joseph Biden, in the 2020 presidential race, citing among other things his early support for same-sex marriage.

“Joe Biden’s unmatched record, command of domestic and foreign affairs, and progressive vision for America’s future is the leadership we need at this critical moment,” Maloney said in a statement. “Joe hasn’t just advocated for progressive change throughout his career, he’s delivered on it — from ushering through the Violence Against Women Act, to fighting shoulder to shoulder alongside President Obama to pass Obamacare, and supporting marriage equality.”

Biden’s early support for marriage equality preceded President Obama’s support in 2012 and that year the first-ever victories for same-sex marriage at the ballot.

The only other out member of Congress to have made a 2020 endorsement is former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), who before she resigned her seat in a scandal tinged with biphobia endorsed Kamala Harris.

The others haven’t yet issued endorsements. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) has said in a podcast interview with WIN2020 she won’t issue an endorsement in the 2020 primary.

Maloney’s stature has grown in recent months as a result of being a key figure in the House impeachment inquiry. The New York Democrat has aggressively questioned witnesses on allegations Trump withheld U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange in exchange for investigation into Biden, who could be the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election.

“The next president faces a monumental task: Restoring America as a leader in the world and bringing our country together,” Maloney said. “We live in dangerous times, and Donald Trump’s actions have made us less safe and more isolated. At home, our political process has become so fractured we cannot deliver results for working families across the country.”

With weeks remains before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, Biden isn’t polling as well in the state in comparison to Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren. But Biden has strong support in the black community, which should pay off in the South Carolina and elsewhere in the South.

“As president, Joe Biden will deliver the local tax relief, infrastructure, clean drinking water and support for our military and veterans that my neighbors in the Hudson Valley want,” Maloney concluded. “And, as he has always done, Joe Biden will seek to unite us as Americans and drain the poison out of our divided politics.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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