The Republican mayor of Sterling Heights, Mich., the fourth-biggest city in the state, is abandoning his support of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and endorsing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE for president.
Michael Taylor, who cast his 2016 ballot for Trump, first told The Chicago Tribune of his decision on Monday, saying that he felt “Biden is the candidate who can unify all of the Democrats” and “appeal to moderates and Republicans like me who don’t want to see four more years of Trump.”
He added in a tweet that he couldn’t look at his three kids and tell them that he supported the president, whom he described as “deranged.”
“I can’t. I won’t. I’m voting for Biden and endorsing him for President of the United States. I hope you’ll join me,” he said just a day before Michigan’s presidential primary.
How could I look at those three kids and tell them I’m proud to support Donald Trump? I can’t. I won’t. I’m voting for @JoeBiden tomorrow and endorsing him for President of the United States. I hope you’ll join me. #Biden2020#MichiganPrimary https://t.co/GIA3PT5DNS
— Michael C. Taylor (@MayorMikeTaylor) March 9, 2020
Taylor’s endorsement comes a week after Biden surged ahead of the rest of the field and earned decisive Super Tuesday victories in states throughout the South. The field has since winnowed to essentially a two-man race between Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), who won the Michigan Democratic primary in 2016.
Taylor’s vote on Tuesday will represent the first time he’s ever supported a Democrat, the Tribune noted. Michigan’s open primary system allows registered voters to participate in whichever party’s primary they choose.
His public endorsement of Biden is significant considering Sterling Heights is within Macomb County, a battleground area that has flipped its support between Democrats and Republicans over the last decade. A majority of the county backed former President Obama in 2008 and 2012, only to place its support behind Trump in 2016.
Michigan, which Trump won in 2016, is considered one of the keys to either a Trump or a Democratic victory in November.
Taylor, who has served as mayor since 2014, said that in 2016 he voted for Trump thinking that the then-candidate’s behavior would improve.
“He’s even more deranged now than I thought then. So, I take the blame. I voted for him,” he told the Tribune, adding that he believes some of his constituents could be swayed into supporting Biden if he showcases to them why he’s the best fit for the job.
“[Biden] says he’s fighting for the soul of our country, well, he’s gotta act like it and come here and tell people, ‘I can help you,’” he said. “’These Trump economic policies, I got better ones, we’re going to make your wages, your life better here.’”
Michigan is one of six states heading to the polls on Tuesday. Biden, who comes into the day with a delegate lead, has a 24-point lead over Sanders in Michigan, according to a Detroit Free Press survey released on Monday.
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