- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2020

Though it was certain to come at some point, Joe Biden picked up a big endorsement Saturday when the country’s largest union — the National Education Association — backed his presidential bid.

The NEA and the American Federation of Teachers, the powerful teachers’ unions, are rock solid Democrats and in the general election back that party’s candidate. While the AFT had offered a duel endorsement of Mr. Biden or Mr. Sanders, the NEA kept its official powder dry until Saturday night.

Since Mr. Biden cruised to an impressive victory in the Michigan primary and others last Tuesday, however, it has become clear his lead in delegates makes him the overwhelming favorite to clinch the Democratic nomination this summer.

“Biden is the tireless advocate for public education and is the partner that students and educators need now in the White House,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said in a statement.

Thus far in 2020, Mr. Sanders has been the biggest recipient of NEA cash, according to OpenSecrets.com, which puts his total of $18,734 well ahead of Mr. Biden’s $7,595.

The NEA endorsement means Mr. Biden can now finish the primary season with the union’s considerable muscle and deep pockets behind his campaign. In the 2016 presidential election year, the NEA showered $11.14 million on politics, and among direct contributions to candidates 84% — $2.88 million — of its giving went to Democrats, according to Open Secrets.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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