Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, will address the Texas Democratic Party's 2020 convention next month, the party announced Thursday morning.
The former vice president will close out the convention, which is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, on June 6. The party also announced Thursday morning that Beto O'Rourke — the former Biden rival, U.S. Senate nominee and El Paso congressman — will speak on the convention's final day as well.
Biden, whose Texas primary win in March was part of a Super Tuesday romp that set him on the path to the nomination, has promised to compete in historically Republican Texas as the nominee. State party leaders hailed his appearance at the convention as a sign of the state's competitiveness in November.
“Texas is the biggest battleground state in the country," the party chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, and vice chair, Carla Brailey, said in a statement. "With Joe Biden at the top of the ticket, Texas Democrats will help him win the White House. This is our moment.”
The party has built a high-profile lineup for the virtual convention, previously revealing speakers including U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and three other former 2020 White House hopefuls: Julián Castro, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. In addition to Biden and O'Rourke, the party announced Thursday morning that U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, will address the convention.
A party spokesperson confirmed two more speakers to The Texas Tribune on Thursday morning: Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Cheri Bustos, the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. With the DCCC looking to flip seven seats in Texas in November, the state is a centerpiece of the committee's strategy this election cycle to defend and grow the Democratic majority in the House.
The Texas GOP is set to hold its 2020 convention in person from July 16-18 in Houston.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign scoffed at the idea that Biden's participation in the convention showed Texas is in play this fall.
“We wish Joe Biden and Texas Democrats the best of luck in attaining their decades long pipedream of turning Texas blue," campaign spokeswoman Samantha Cotten said in a statement. "Texans will see through this staged attempt to win their favor and resoundingly reelect President Trump in November."