Two Rock Island County men have started a political action committee to try to draft former Vice President Joe Biden to run for the presidency in 2020.
Matthew Graf, of Rock Island, and Collin West, of East Moline, filed organizational papers with the Federal Election Commission earlier this week to create a committee called Time for Biden. They also have put up a website, called timeforbiden.com.
Graf said Wednesday that he and West have volunteered in Democratic politics locally, and that they created the committee because they don't yet see a clear front runner for the party's 2020 nomination, or even a direction for the party yet. Besides, Graf says, Biden's experience would be welcome.
"He's abundantly qualified," he said.
Biden decided not to run for the presidency in 2016. But he is frequently mentioned, along with a a lot of other Democrats, as a possibility for 2020.
Last November, Biden told Oprah Winfrey (who also is now being mentioned as a possible candidate) that he didn't plan on running. But he also said he regretted not being president.
Graf, 23, says that he believes Biden is toying with the idea of running. And he said the draft committee, by building a volunteer network and engaging in fundraising, could be handed off to a campaign if it gets to that point.
Graf said the two formed the committee on their own and have not reached out to Biden, other than mentioning him on social media.
A committee to draft Biden also was formed before the 2016 presidential campaign, and it enlisted help in early nominating states, like Iowa and New Hampshire. The group even held events in Iowa, including on the riverfront in Davenport in 2015.
Biden ran for president in 1988 and 2008. He finished fifth in the 2008 caucuses.