Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

Government

Iowa lawmaker, former Bernie Sanders supporter endorses Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks April 30 at Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Biden was making his first visit to Iowa after announcing his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks April 30 at Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Biden was making his first visit to Iowa after announcing his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

A state lawmaker who endorsed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2015 is included in a batch of Iowans endorsing Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Tim Kacena, who represents a portion of Sioux City in the Iowa House, is among the new endorsements announced Thursday by the Biden campaign.

Kacena endorsed Sanders in the 2016 caucuses.

“I don’t think we need something so far to the left that it’s going to be disruptive,” Kacena said Friday. “(Biden) would bring a sense of serenity to the country, and maybe even some sanity.”

Kacena, a retired firefighter, also noted the International Association of Fire Fighters’ endorsement of Biden as part of his calculus, and that he sees Biden as the best candidate to “get things done” in the nation’s capital.

Kacena also cited concern of a looming financial crisis, and noted Biden’s role as vice president during the federal government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis.

“I think we need some stability in there, and I think Vice President Biden would supply that,” Kacena said.

Also among the endorsements is Dave O’Brien, a Sioux City native who lives in Cedar Rapids and in 2014 ran for Congress in Eastern Iowa. He backed Biden in the 2008 Democratic nomination contest.

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The other endorsers are: Cindy Waitt, of Sioux City, with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention; Terry O’Brien, of Sioux City; Dave Somsky, of Sioux City and a former chairman of the Woodbury County Democrats; and Connie Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, the wife of former Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal.

• Comments: (563) 383-2492; erin.murphy@lee.net

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