O'Rourke gets first South Carolina endorsement

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE has secured his first endorsement from a South Carolina lawmaker with his campaign announcing Saturday the backing of state Rep. Marvin Pendarvis (D).

“I’ve watched Beto O’Rourke speak to Americans about our shared ambitions and the solutions to the greatest challenges of our lifetime, and witnessed the passion he ignites in voters in communities of all shapes and sizes across the country,” Pendarvis said in a statement released by the campaign.

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“Beto’s vision, his energy, and his connection with the American people are driving not only a campaign but a movement — a movement that is people-powered, that includes all Americans and takes no one for granted, and that seeks to bring us together instead of driving us apart. 


Pendarvis, who also works as a criminal defense attorney, has served in the state legislature since 2017. He said he “couldn’t miss the opportunity to be a part of what promises to be a game-changing campaign for South Carolina and our nation.”

O’Rourke, whose 2018 Texas Senate campaign electrified the Democratic base and shot him to national prominence, is seeking to build off a strong fundraising haul from 2019’s first quarter to gain momentum in the Palmetto State’s crucial early nominating contest and its largely black primary electorate.

However, he could face stiff competition from Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.), both of whom have taken several trips to South Carolina to gin up local support. 

Harris last month announced a slate of five endorsements from powerful state lawmakers just days after Booker got the first presidential endorsement from a South Carolina legislator in the 2020 cycle. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) was also endorsed by state Rep. Terry Alexander (D).

Booker has led the crowded 2020 primary field in endorsements from congressional lawmakers. Harris came in second in The Hill’s endorsement tally, while O’Rourke was tied for third.

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