The race for the Democratic nomination heated up in Ohio last week with a record 12 candidates participating in the party’s fourth debate.
Taking the stage this time were U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, businessman Andrew Yang, former Housing & Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, billionaire Tom Steyer and former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas.
WHW caught up with Florida Representative Shevrin Jones for his opinion of the state of the Democratic presidential campaign. Jones, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in Tallahassee, said he has endorsed Biden.
“I have already endorsed Joe Biden which was very early on,” Jones said. “I am very tuned into to what’s happening with all the other candidates. I have really become a huge listener. There are a lot of values that I agree with Vice President Biden, I don’t agree with all of them.”
Jones, campaigning for a seat in Florida’s Senate, received the Harvey Milk Award at the Dolphin Democrats gala Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale. An openly gay black educator, Jones said Biden’s centrist position is what the country needs.
“There are a lot of values that I agree with Vice President Biden on that I can live with and one of them is him being huge in working with the other side of the aisle. I’m big on that,” Jones said. “It’s almost like we’ve walked into a partisan twilight zone where nobody is talking to anyone. Everybody is talking to themselves and their party, which you can’t get any work done and our country is in a mess because of it. So we need someone who’s going to bridge this gap that’s been created.”
In the debate Biden said he would raise the capital gains tax on the wealthiest Americans to address the country’s wealth inequality.
“The way to get things done is to take a look at the tax code now,” Biden said. “We have to start rewarding work not just wealth.”
Biden said stock market coupon clippers pay lower rates than teachers and firefighters under the Trump administration’s tax code.
“It’s ridiculous,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, back in Miami Gardens, Jones said the concerns he’s heard from his constituents are largely about basic needs.
“When I go door-to-door, people are mostly asking about how are you going to make sure that I maintain my health care and when I go to a parent’s door, parents want to know how can I make sure that my child will continue to be educated in a state that cares about education.”
At 76, Biden is the second oldest candidate in the field. Sanders is 78.
Representative Carlos G. Smith (D-Orlando) is Jones’ colleague in the Florida House. While he has yet to endorse a candidate in the Democratic field, Smith said age is not a major qualifier for him.
“The democratic candidate’s age is not at the top of the my list of concerns at this time,” Smith said in a telephone interview.
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