02:42 - Source: CNN
Biden and Buttigieg court the same voters in Iowa
CNN  — 

Joe Biden landed a high profile endorsement Thursday as Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa announced she’s backing the former vice president’s campaign.

Finkenauer is the first member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary and only the second member of Congress from an early state to announce support for a candidate.

“Joe Biden’s character, record, and commitment to rebuilding the backbone of the country — the middle class — is what Iowa and this country needs,” Finkenauer said in a statement. “Across the country, and especially in Iowa, too many families are being left behind by our current president. It’s time we have leadership in the White House who believes in the value of not only uniting a divided Congress, but uniting our country through common sense, dignity, and respect.”

Finkenauer, 31, is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. In 2018, she won a district President Donald Trump carried in 2016 and became the second youngest women ever elected to Congress.

The first-term Iowa congresswoman has longtime connections to Biden. She worked as a volunteer coordinator in Iowa for his 2008 presidential bid, and Biden traveled to Iowa to campaign for her during her 2018 congressional race.

Finkenauer also has strong ties to the labor community, a key constituency Biden has courted throughout his presidential campaign. The former vice president attended a labor forum she hosted for Democratic candidates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in November.

The announcement comes at the start of Biden’s first Iowa bus tour of 2020. He has ten public events announced in the state between Thursday and Sunday. Finkenauer will join Biden at eight of his scheduled stops, making her first appearance in Dubuque Friday.

Finkenauer is part of a slate of high profile political figures to recently back Biden’s presidential campaign. Last year, Biden picked up endorsements from former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Iowa Governor and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.