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Illinois Biden delegate says contested convention will further divide Democrats

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Amid concerns of President Joe Biden’s fitness to serve another four years in office, an Illinois congressman says he should step down. But a delegate says the party must unite ahead of the convention.

Speaking with MSNBC Friday, Illinois U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley said Biden should secure his legacy.

“The only thing that you can do now to cement that for all time and to prevent utter catastrophe is to step down and let somebody else do this,” Quigley said.

Biden has been adamant he is remaining in the race. In a letter to Democrats Monday, he urged them to drop their concerns and unify behind him ahead of the convention this August.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end. We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.”

Biden remained defiant, telling MSNBC those calling him to step down should put up.

“With any of these guys that don’t think I should run, run against me. Go ahead. Announce for president. Challenge me at the convention,” Biden said Monday.

Biden proclaims having 87% of the delegates from the party’s primary. Illinois state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, is one of them. Monday, Ford said he’s sticking by the incumbent, but Biden must unify the party.

“The ball is in President Biden’s court to calm the Democrats and show them a path forward. I think that’s where he’s failing at,” Ford told The Center Square.

If Democrats don’t coalesce around Biden, Ford said it will be a contested convention further dividing Democrats.

“And we’re going to end up having people constantly calling for his resignation and that’s going to continue to divide us,” Ford said.

The Democratic National Convention begins Aug. 19 in Chicago.

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