WASHINGTON—Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday picked up eleven endorsements from current and former South Carolina Democratic mayors, most of whom are black.
Biden was able to earn the support of these local leaders in the state in the midst of criticism for comments he made at a campaign fundraiser about fond recollections he had about his relationships with two now deceased segregationist Democrat senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge. Both served in the Senate with Biden in the 1970’s.
Biden has refused to apologize for his comments and went as far to demand New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker apologize to him for his criticism about the comments Biden made. (RELATED: Biden Hits Back At Booker: ‘Cory Should Apologize’)
The eleven endorsements also come just ahead of the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention. Biden, among other Democratic candidates, is expected to make a trip down to the Palmetto State to continue to look for support among the party faithful.
The current and former mayors who endorsed Biden on Thursday are:
- Former Mayor John Carter, Gray Court
- Mayor William Cave, Kline
- Former Mayor Doug Echols, Rock Hill
- Mayor Francenia Ellis, Furman
- Mayor Charlie Fulton, Lane
- Mayor Donnie Hillard, Santee
- Mayor Darrick Jackson, Timmonsville
- Mayor Henry Jolly, Gaffney
- Mayor Dorothy Riley, Fairfax
- Former Mayor Joe Riley, Charleston
- Mayor Jerald Sanders, Swansea
The South Carolina Democratic primary is the fourth nominating contest. It is scheduled to take place on February 29, and the state hosts an open primary with 63 delegates. Fifty-four of those are pledged delegates that are distributed based on the outcome of the primary.
“I am honored to have the support of so many mayors,” said Vice President Biden said in a statement. “These are folks who know firsthand what it takes to lead and get things done to help working people. I am grateful and proud to have these outstanding mayors on my team.”
Biden will also join South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, another supporter of his who defended him following the storm of criticism Biden received for his remarks about Talmadge and Eastland, at the state party convention for the “World Famous Fish Fry.”