Former members of Congress plotted for four weeks to endorse Biden Harris ticket

'Our goal is to elect Biden overwhelmingly and put an end to Trump' – former Congressman Christopher Shays

Published: August 24, 2020 6:23pm

Updated: August 25, 2020 5:54pm

Ex-Congressman Chris Shays says he and the 26 other former Republican members of Congress who on Monday backed Democrat Joe Biden for president are just part of larger group opposed to a second term by President Trump.

"There are more former members of Congress, and for a variety of reasons have chosen not to go public at this time," Shays told Just the News. "But in time, they may also add their names to our list."  

While each might have a particular reason, a likely one is that opposing Trump's agenda could lead to future acrimony if one were to run again for any political office.

One of the 27 who collectively backed Biden on Monday, the start of Republicans' four-day nomination convention, is former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, an outspoken Trump critic who retired in 2017 knowing he was doomed to lose in the next year's GOP primary.

Others on the list include former Sens. John Warner of Virginia, and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, and former Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood, who served as Transportation secretary in the Obama administration. 

"Our goal is to elect Joe Biden for who he is and what he will do," Shays told Just the News. "We know Joe Biden and believe he will reach out to everyone  – those who may not even vote for him. I have even offered to campaign for Joe Biden full time to defeat Donald Trump overwhelmingly, and to reject him, and the Trump party. This is no longer the Republican Party I know." 

The group started talking about four weeks ago with a handful willing to help the Biden campaign in any way they could.

Shay talking with former Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Greenwood, and the group grew to include former Reps. Tom Coleman of Missouri and Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who resigned as a Republican with the rise of Trump, and Susan Molinari of New York, who spoke during last week's Democratic National Convention. 

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford is among those who have also openly opposed Trump but not among the 27. 

In late 2019, Sanford tweeted, "Resign" to President Trump, then deleted it claiming it was a mistake, as earlier reported in Post and Courier. 

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook


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