By Justin Chapman

Pasadena City Councilman John Kennedy, in what he is calling an effort to bring “prepared, competent, relevant and sane leadership to the White House,” will welcome Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden to his home on Friday, July 19, for a lunchtime fundraiser.

“I have known Joe Biden for over 30 years,” said Kennedy, who represents Pasadena’s District 3. “So it is with an abundance of history and respect … as well as personal affection that I am hosting Vice President Biden at an intimate lunch gathering.”

Biden is currently the frontrunner in the crowded field of Democratic candidates. His poll numbers have taken a hit in the weeks since fellow candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris criticized his opposition to 1970s-era school busing policies as a US senator and his comments on working with segregationist senate colleagues, for which he subsequently apologized.

Those expected to attend the event at Kennedy’s home include his sister Lena L. Kennedy and District 6 City Councilman Steve Madison.

On June 29, Harris spoke at a private fundraiser at the West Pasadena home of Tamerlin Godley, who is running for Madison’s District 6 council seat.

Biden’s visit to Pasadena follows those of several other Democratic presidential candidates in recent weeks. On May 30, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena. On May 31, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a political rally at the Pasadena Convention Center and he, Harris, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee participated in the first presidential forum focused on immigration at the Pasadena Hilton.

Fellow presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana is also reportedly finalizing plans to stump in Pasadena.

Candidates are making sure to show up in California because the state has moved its primary election date up from June to March 3, also known as Super Tuesday. The earlier date — after only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — will ensure that California voters and the state’s nearly 500 delegates play a decisive role in determining the eventual nominee.