Two dozen black Georgia lawmakers back Biden’s 2020 bid

More than two dozen black state legislators endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign on Thursday ahead of the third presidential debate in Houston.

The 26 endorsements include state Rep. Billy Mitchell, the president-elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, state Rep. Karen Bennett, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Chair and state Rep. Carolyn Hugley, the former No. 2 Democrat in the state House.

The show of support for Biden comes on the heels of a string of other Democratic figures who backed his campaign. Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland endorsed Biden shortly after he entered the race, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is one of his most prominent supporters in Georgia.

And last month, state Rep. Calvin Smyre, the longest-serving legislator in the state, threw his support behind Biden, saying he endorsed the former vice president because he "won't need on the job training."

Biden has built a lead in most major polls thanks to sizable support from African-American voters, rooted in party by his role in the Obama administration. A CNN poll released on the eve of the debate showed 42% of black voters support his campaign, far outpacing his nearest rivals.

His campaign expects South Carolina, where black voters represent about 60% of the primary electorate, to serve as a firewall for his presidential bid – and give his campaign a boost through Super Tuesday and the March 24 primary in Georgia.

Here’s a list of the endorsements: 

State Rep. Billy Mitchell, president-elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators

State Rep. Kimberly Alexander

State Sen. Tonya Anderson

State Rep. Debra Bazemore

State Rep. Karen Bennett, Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Chair

State Rep. James Beverly, Georgia House Democratic Caucus Chair

State Rep. Roger Bruce

State Rep. Rhonda Burnough

State Sen. Gloria Butler

State Rep. Doreen Carter

State Rep. Sheila Clark-Nelson

State Rep. Pam Dickerson

State Rep. Winfred Dukes

State Rep. Gloria Frazier

State Sen. Ed Harbison

State Rep. CaMia Hopson

State Rep. Carolyn Hugely, a former House Minority Whip

State Rep. Mack Jackson

State Sen. Donzella James

State Sen. Emanuel Jones

State Rep. Sheila Jones

State Rep. Dar'Shun Kendrick, Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic caucus

State Rep. Dewey McClain

State Rep. Miriam Paris
State Rep. Kim Schofield

State Rep. Al Williams