U.S. Reps. Lawrence, Stevens endorse Biden for president

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence and Haley Stevens on Thursday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president ahead of Michigan's primary on Tuesday. 

Lawrence, a Southfield Democrat in her third term, is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus leadership and co-chair of the bipartisan women’s caucus.

“I proudly announce my endorsement of presidential candidate Joe Biden, in a hope to restore America’s faith in our democracy. Our country has been ripped apart by hateful and divisive rhetoric. We need a leader who understands the importance of unifying our country,” Lawrence said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence

“We must have a president who values telling the truth and who won’t dole out empty promises or stoke fear and anger. The people of this great country deserve a president who will not only listen but respect women’s voices and rights,” she continued.

“Like so many Michiganders, Joe Biden and his family have known real loss and economic insecurity — and like us he’s persevered, never forgetting where he comes from.”

Lawrence had previously endorsed California Sen. Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the race in December.

Stevens, a freshman Democrat from Rochester Hills, had backed former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg in the primary until he ended his bid for president after a string of losses on Super Tuesday. 

“When the auto industry was on its back, Joe Biden was determined to get workers raring to go again. He knew Michigan would be devastated if GM and Chrysler went bankrupt," said Stevens, who served as chief of staff of President Barack Obama's auto task force.

"But Joe Biden never quit, and now our auto industry is back on its feet," Stevens added.

"As a member of Congress who flipped a Republican seat in 2018, I know the workers and families in my community. They're fighters. And they're not looking for lip service or promises that can't be delivered. They're looking for a leader who knows what their challenges are, and who rises above politics to deliver. That's Joe Biden and it's why we need him in the White House." 

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, who represents Michigan’s 11th District, speaks during a town hall discussion to address mental health and related issues, including suicide prevention and substance use disorder, at Sarah Banks middle school, in Wixom, February 18, 2020.

Lawrence and Stevens' endorsement of Biden followed that of Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, who endorsed the former vice president earlier Thursday.

Biden garnered the endorsements of several other top Michigan politicians this week, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. 

Among Michigan's congressional delegation, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, is the only member to endorse Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, had campaigned for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who quit the race Thursday. 

Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, and Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have said they do not intend to endorse in the primary. 

Lawrence and Stevens both backed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 over Sen. Bernie Sanders. Republican President Donald Trump won Michigan’s general election over Clinton by 10,704 votes.

Lawrence represents Michigan’s snake-like 14th District, which runs from Pontiac south through Oakland County and draws in parts of northern and east Detroit and the Grosse Pointes in Wayne County.

Stevens represents the 11th District, which includes parts of Oakland and Wayne counties.