A new wave of Georgia Democrats backed Joe Biden’s campaign for president on Wednesday as he tries to lock down the party’s establishment wing ahead of the state’s March 24 primary.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes, ex-U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden and about three dozen lawmakers endorsed the former vice president as he races toward a possible matchup against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in less than two weeks.
The Democrats join dozens of Georgia politicians who have already publicly supported Biden – a group that grew after his blowout victories in South Carolina and in last week’s coast-to-coast contests.
Long before Super Tuesday, Biden had amassed far more endorsements than any other White House hopeful in Georgia, a collection of supporters that includes Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland and dozens of influential state legislators.
But more politicians rallied to him last week as he picked up support from party leaders worried the Vermont senator could bring lasting damage to down-ballot candidates. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson endorsed him earlier this week, and others who sided with Biden’s former rivals joined in Wednesday.
“I’m excited to support Joe, who is the only candidate that has the ability to build the broad coalition required to take back the White House,” said state Rep. Matthew Wilson, who previously supported Pete Buttigieg’s bid.
Other new Biden supporters including House Minority Leader Bob Trammell and state Sen. Lester Jackson.
More endorsements are coming. State Rep. Billy Mitchell, the president-elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, promised that 90% of Georgia’s Democratic lawmakers will soon announce their endorsements of Biden.
Sanders, who was trounced in Georgia in 2016, trails Biden badly in Georgia in polls. Still, both candidates are expected to visit Georgia ahead of the March 24 vote, the only Democratic contest that night.
Biden has scheduled a fundraiser in Buckhead two days before the primary, and Sanders is expected to open an office in Atlanta on Thursday.
Sanders has a smaller core of prominent supporters in the state, a group that includes former state Sen. Vincent Fort, former Clarkston mayor Ted Terry and South Fulton councilman Khalid Kamau.
Here’s the entire list:
- State Senator Elena Parent
- State Senator Doc Rhett
- State Senator Lester Jackson
- State Representative William Boddie
- State Representative Teri Anulewicz
- State Representative Erick Allen
- State Representative J. Craig Gordon
- State Representative Donna McLeod
- State Representative Pam Stephenson
- State Representative Shelly Hutchinson
- State Representative Valencia Seay
- State Representative Mickey Stephens
- State Representative Matthew Wilson
- State Representative Patty Bentley
- State Representative Debbie Buckner
- State Representative Karla Drenner
- State Representative Becky Evans
- State Representative Mike Glanton
- State Representative Michele Henson
- State Representative Scott Holcomb
- State Representative Betsy Holland
- State Representative Wayne Howard
- State Representative Derrick Jackson
- State Representative Angelika Kausche
- State Representative Marie Metze
- State Representative Beth Moore
- State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver
- State Representative Robert Trammell
- State Representative David Wilkerson
- State Representative Pat Gardner
- State Representative Gregg Kennard
- State Representative Carl Gilliard
- Milledgeville Mayor Floyd Griffin
- Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi
- South Fulton City Councilmember Carmalitha Gumbs
- South Fulton City Councilmember Helen Willis
- South Fulton City Councilmember Catherine Foster Rowell
- South Fulton City Councilmember
- DeKalb County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw
- DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson
- Blakely City Councilmember Margaret Davis Zachary
- Henry County Commissioner Dee Clemmons
- State President Georgia Federation of Women Carlotta Harrell
- President of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs Diane Evans
- Former Governor Roy Barnes
- Former Congressman George Darden
- Former Mayor of Macon Georgia Jack Ellis
- Former State Representative Carl Von Epps
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