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Iowa Sen. Jim Lykam is throwing his support behind former Vice President Joe Biden to be the nation’s next president.

Lykam, a Davenport Democrat with a long history in state politics, has been in the Iowa Senate since 2016. The longest-serving statehouse Democrat of the region, he previously was an area state representative from 2003 through 2016.

"Watching the polling, voters know Joe Biden," Lykam said via phone call Monday night. "We have a lot of trouble in the current administration with some of our allies. We can’t be on an island. We’re a global economy. He can look any leader in the eye on a global stage and command respect."

Biden is the presumed frontrunner in a presidential candidate field that’s grown to nearly two dozen. As he faces a large field with varied policy agendas on his left, the former vice president made headlines recently by saying he no longer supports a 1976 measure that bans federal funding for most abortions, reversing a long held stance he has attributed in part to his Roman Catholic faith.

Lykam’s support was announced by Biden’s presidential campaign along with that of seven other prominent Iowa Democrats, including Iowa Rep. Bruce Hunter and former Dubuque County Sheriff Ken Runde. 

The endorsements come as Biden is beginning a two-day tour through the southeastern part of Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

A 6 p.m. event is being held in Davenport’s Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St. Other stops are scheduled in Ottumwa, Clinton and Mount Pleasant.

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