A Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Democratic member up for reelection this year endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president March 1, as multiple moderate candidates announced they were suspending their campaigns before Super Tuesday.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) who replaced former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) in the state’s special Senate election in 2018, endorsed Biden in a tweet Sunday, following Biden’s first-place finish in the South Carolina Democratic primary. Jones serves on SASC’s Airland, Strategic Forces and Readiness and Management Support Subcommittees.
Jones has received about $92,000 in campaign donations from individuals in the defense industry, and about $75,000 from defense-related political action committees, according to data compiled by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. He has raised over $10 million for his reelection campaign – the most of any candidate in the Alabama Senate race – and retains about $7.4 million in cash as of Feb. 12.
Among his many Republican and Independent competitors are House Armed Services Committee (HASC) member Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who has raised about $3.4 million and retains $1.6 million in cash, and Sessions, who has raised about $819,000 and retains about $1.9 million in cash. Byrne, a longtime HASC member, has received about $167,000 in defense-related contributions.
As of deadline on Monday, three Democratic presidential candidates have announced or plan to announce their campaigns’ suspensions following the South Carolina primary results and ahead of the “Super Tuesday” primary elections on March 3. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg – a U.S. Navy Reserves naval intelligence officer who deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 – announced he was suspending his campaign on Sunday, as did Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and billionaire philanthropist.
Buttigieg, who is expected to endorse Biden on Monday, had received $194,000 in campaign donations from the defense industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. About $79,000 worth of contributions came from Department of Defense personnel. Steyer had received about $4,000 in defense-related contributions.
Multiple reports indicate that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also plans to drop out of the Democratic nomination race and endorse Biden Monday evening. She had received about $48,000 in contributions from the defense sector.
Five candidates remain in the race to win the Democratic nomination for president. Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are widely considered to be the frontrunners, but SASC member Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), HASC member and Army National Guard member Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also remain candidates as of Defense Daily’s deadline Monday.
Biden has raised about $106,000 in defense-related campaign contributions, while Sanders has raised $409,000. Warren has raised $32,000 in individual donations from defense-related personnel, while Gabbard has raised $94. Bloomberg’s campaign is not taking outside contributions.