Joe Biden hasn't campaigned in the Bay Area, 'to his detriment,' says former SF mayor Willie Brown

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With only five candidates left in the race ahead of California's primary, attention has turned to presidential democratic candidate Joe Biden.

He's seen as the new comeback kid after a win in South Carolina and endorsements from both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, a strategy some say is meant to consolidate the moderate vote and take momentum away from frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

But unlike Sanders who has traveled to California more than any other candidate, the former Vice President hasn't focused as much on the delegate-rich Golden State.

Ahead of Super Tuesday, Biden has not held one public campaign event in the Bay Area. Late Monday, his campaign announced he would make a local stop in Oakland on Tuesday ahead of his evening event in Los Angeles.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown says not campaigning more in Northern California will be "to his detriment."



"Biden is not a new person to the political game. He's been at this all of his life. And we really do make assumptions about what we need to do if we've been around a long time," Brown told ABC7 News, referring to politicians.

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"And that's a mistake because you really need to ask every voter to please let me know who you are, and you know who I am, and vote for me."

Brown said he is not outright endorsing any candidate, but said he cast his ballot for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whom he described as a "terrible debater."

"He should never have debated at all," Brown said, adding, "I think he's the best candidate. I think he'd make the best president. That's why I voted for him."

When asked why Biden has not campaigned more in California, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign explained that voters in California know Biden's record and said he's the only 2020 candidate who has been on the ballot before.

"Californians know Joe Biden and know his body of work, and know his values," the spokesperson told ABC7 News. "And much of his career has taken him to California to fight for issues critical to not only in California but all across the country."

Biden has campaigned in Los Angeles and come to the Bay Area for private fundraisers.

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A new poll by Stanford's Hoover Institute shows Sanders as the frontrunner in California, with 26% support among likely voters. Biden follows with 19% support, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 18% and then Bloomberg with 14% support.

Brown feels had Biden campaigned more in the Bay Area, his support could be stronger.

"He didn't come here for the state Democratic party convention, which is a little strange, and a little odd," Brown said.

"And all of those things are what you need to do, particularly when somebody like Bernie will go wherever there are two other people, he makes the third."

See more Chasing California stories here.

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