“One vote could be the difference between winning and losing a precinct. One precinct could win a state, and one state, this state, could decide our future for generations to come,” said the wife of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and an educator of more than 35 years. “So, will you be that one vote?”
A cacophony of applause, car horns and cheers broke out across the PNC Field parking lot where Biden held a drive-in rally to mobilize voters.
Supporters waved homemade signs, placed “Biden Harris” signs on their windshields and draped flags for the Democratic nominees across their vehicles’ hoods. Although exact attendance figures were unavailable Monday night, Emma Riley, the Pennsylvania deputy communications director for the Biden campaign, said they kept attendance below 250.
Before Jill Biden took the stage, she was preceded by Lackawanna County Commissioner Debi Domenick, state Rep. Bridget Malloy Kosierowski, D-114, Waverly Twp., and Jennifer Telesco Loftus, first grade teacher at the Scranton School District’s John Adams Elementary. The local women cited the need to oust President Donald Trump in November while criticizing his response to COVID-19, his efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and his administration’s impact on the public school system.
A mother of two young children, Loftus blasted Betsy DeVos, the United States secretary of education, over public education.
“We have a secretary of education who has made it her mission to dismantle public schools,” she said. “We need someone who understands and supports public education, which includes fair funding for safe buildings and programs like 3- and 4-year-old preschool and increase title funding, instead of siphoning federal funds to private and charter school initiatives.”
As she introduced Jill Biden, Loftus lauded Joe Biden’s plan to safely reopen schools and praised the Bidens’ character.
“We have a strong and dynamic woman, a teacher who is ready to help lead the way from Scranton to the White House,” she said, pausing mid-sentence as the crowd cheered and honked.
Speaking just a few miles from the North Washington Avenue home where her husband spent the first years of his life, Jill Biden said it was an honor to be in his hometown, saying Scranton “shaped him and taught him how to work hard and taught him that community means looking out for each other, and that when you get knocked down, you get right back up.”
With a doctorate in education and a decades-long tenure that included teaching at a community college and a public high school, Jill Biden often addressed her fellow teachers, thanking them as she concluded her speech.
Thank you, Scranton, for your faith in an idea that’s bigger than any one of us — and that is that we will build a better nation because we are going to do it together,” Jill Biden said. “Thank you Scranton. Thank you teachers.”