MARIETTA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Former Congressman Jim Walsh says he’s already received some angry emails from fellow Republicans for publicly endorsing Democrat Joe Biden for president.
Walsh is one of 27 Republican former members of Congress to come out in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden the same week their party’s nominee, President Donald Trump, is renominated for the job.
At his home in southern Onondaga County, Walsh told NewsChannel 9, “If I didn’t take whatever action I can, to defeat a person I believe has authoritarian leanings and could do great damage to our democracy… I don’t think I could look myself in the eye.”
Walsh lists his “countless” concerns with Trump: abuse of executive power, undermining confidence in the electoral process, coziness with adversarial dictators and making the presidency about himself.
Biden and Walsh’s paths rarely crossed when they were both serving in different houses of Congress, but Walsh says: “Given the choice that we have, it’s a no brainer. We have to support Joe Biden. He’s a good man. He’s experienced. He believes in our country, the balance of power, the Constitution.”
In 2016, Walsh refused to endorse Trump, but also did not support his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Walsh endorsed former Ohio Governor John Kasich in the primary and was involved in Kasich’s Le Moyne College and Sovay primary rallies.
Walsh served in Congress from 1989 to 2009 and still makes trips to Washington, DC as a government affairs counselor for K&L Gates.
He is the father of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, an independent.
Current Congressman John Katko has endorsed the re-election of Trump and has questioned Biden’s fitness for office.
Katko’s opponent, Democrat Dana Balter, said, “While I am pleased that Congressman Walsh, along with many former GOP representatives, has decided to support Vice President Biden, it’s extremely disappointing that John Katko chooses to stand with Donald Trump.”
Republicans endorsing Biden:
- Senator Jeff Flake (AZ)
- Senator Gordon Humphrey, (NH)
- Senator John Warner (VA)
- Congressman Steve Bartlett (TX)
- Congressman Bill Clinger (PA)
- Congressman Tom Coleman (MO)
- Congressman Charlie Dent (PA)
- Congressman Charles Djou (HI)
- Congressman Mickey Edwards (OK)
- Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (MD)
- Congressman Jim Greenwood (PA)
- Congressman Bob Inglis (SC)
- Congressman Jim Kolbe (AZ)
- Congressman Steve Kuykendall (CA)
- Congressman Ray LaHood (IL)
- Congressman Jim Leach (IA)
- Congresswoman Susan Molinari (NY)
- Congresswoman Connie Morella (MD)
- Congressman Mike Parker (MS)
- Congressman Jack Quinn (NY)
- Congresswoman Claudine Schneider (RI)
- Congressman Christopher Shays (CT)
- Congressman Peter Smith (VT)
- Congressman Alan Steelman (TX)
- Congressman Jim Walsh (NY)
- Congressman Bill Whitehurst (VA)
- Congressman Dick Zimmer (NJ)