Michigan GOP mayor in Obama-Trump county endorses Joe Biden, regrets 2016 vote for Trump

Joe Biden
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images))

Michigan and its 125 deluges is the big prize in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primaries, the first pitting former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) head to head in what's essentially a two-man race. Sanders and Biden are both contesting the state heavily, and the polls are mixed.

But Biden is winning the Democratic endorsement race — most of his former primary rivals have endorsed him, and he has landed the endorsements of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, two former governors, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. On Monday, Biden got a more unexpected endorsement from Michael Taylor, the Republican mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan's fourth-largest city.

"Taylor grew up Republican with parents who always have voted Republican and still do," and he was a conservative columnist in college who "later became a Tea Party darling in his Detroit suburb," the Chicago Tribune reports. "In 2016, he dutifully cast his ballot for Republican Donald Trump." Biden, he told the Tribune, "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 President Trump." He tweeted his endorsement Monday.

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Sterling Heights is in Macomb County, "the largest of the Obama-Trump counties in Michigan and the second most populous in the country," after Pinellas County, Florida, the Tribune reports. Democrats probably have to win back some of those counties in 2020 to capture the White House. Sanders and Biden both argue they are best equipped to attract the conservative-leaning, blue collar voters who supported former President Barack Obama twice before switching to Trump. Of the 85 of Obama-Trump counties that have already voted, the Tribune said, "Biden has won 41, to 18 for Sanders."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.