Key endorsements: A who's who in early states

Key endorsements: A who's who in early states
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Democrats in the crowded presidential race are scrambling for key endorsements in the early primary states, beginning with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who will host his South Carolina fish fry on Friday.

Clyburn is one of a handful of influential Democrats whose endorsements could boost candidates battling for attention and support in the first four primary and caucus states that will get to vote ahead of Super Tuesday.


Here’s a who’s who of the most important remaining coveted endorsements in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.



Former Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDemocrats must question possible political surveillance Wisconsin lawmaker gets buzz-cut after vowing not to cut hair until sign language bill passed Democratic debates kick off Iowa summer sprint MORE

Former Sen. Tom Harkin was a major fixture in Iowa politics for more than 30 years, serving as the state’s senator and congressman.

Seventeen Democrats, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE, the current front-runner, are on tap to attend the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, which Harkin hosted for decades prior to 2014 under a different name.

He endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race In 2020, democracy will be decided at the margins Michelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award MORE in 2015. It’s unclear whether he will pick somebody this year because of his nonpartisan role at the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Iowa’s Drake University.


Fred Hubbell

While Fred Hubbell narrowly lost his gubernatorial bid to Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in 2018, he has built an enviable fundraising infrastructure in the state.

It is not yet known whether he will endorse in 2020. Biden campaigned with Hubbell during his gubernatorial run in 2018.


Rep. David Loebsack

Loebsack, who has served seven terms, won reelection in 2016 even as his district went for Trump.

Though he will retire in 2020, his endorsement is sought after. Loebsack hosted a fundraising event during the 2018 midterm elections, which was attended by three Democratic presidential hopefuls: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll MORE, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellTrump attacks Pence aide who called Ukraine call 'inappropriate' Top Pence aide told lawmakers Trump's Ukraine call was 'inappropriate' in closed-door testimony New witness claims firsthand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE (Calif.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE (Hawaii).


J.D. Scholten

The former Democratic congressional candidate came close to unseating longtime Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWhy the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy MSNBC's Donny Deutsch: 'Pathetic' Republicans who stormed closed hearing are 'boring, nerdy-looking white guys' Overnight Defense: Trump lifts sanctions on Turkey | 'Small number' of troops to remain by Syrian oil fields | Defense official's impeachment testimony delayed five hours after Republicans storm secure room MORE (R) during the 2018 midterms.

He has also proven himself to be a valuable fundraiser. His campaign raised more than $900,000 in the week before the election, fueled by more than 30,000 individual donors.


Former Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE

Vilsack served as governor of the Hawkeye State from 1999 to 2007 before former President Obama appointed him to lead the Department of Agriculture.

He was the first member of Obama’s Cabinet to endorse Clinton in 2016. This year he warned Democrats to not underestimate President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE.


The Des Moines Register’s editorial board

The Des Moines Register has become a national source for all political news coming out of the Hawkeye State.

The paper’s editorial board endorsed Clinton ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucuses and again for the general election.


Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition

The Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition has become a primary destination for 2020 Democratic contenders headed to the state.

The group has been visited by the likes of Buttigieg, Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockDeval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel Press: Another billionaire need not apply MORE, New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDe Blasio knocks Bloomberg over stop and frisk apology Deval Patrick enters 2020 race De Blasio slams Bloomberg run for president: He 'epitomizes the status quo' MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (Calif.) and author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Williamson announces poverty plan with support for universal basic income, minimum wage Yang seeks donations for 2020 rival Marianne Williamson: 'She has much more to say' MORE.

The group told The Hill they plan to make a formal endorsement in August.




Concord Mayor Jim Bouley

Bouley was elected to a sixth term as the mayor of New Hampshire’s capital in 2017.

The mayor joined numerous other mayors across the country, including de Blasio, in endorsing Clinton ahead of the New Hampshire primary in the last presidential election.


Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig

Craig made history in 2017 when she became the first woman elected Manchester mayor, ending 12 years of Republican control in the city.

Democratic presidential hopeful John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyPoll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Delaney to take message to Iowa voters on Sunday with infomercial MORE, a former Democratic congressman from Maryland, has ties to Craig, having campaigned with her during her mayoral bid in 2017.


State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro

D’Allesandro has represented New Hampshire’s 20th District in the state Senate since 1998. Prior to his time in the legislature, he served in the state’s House of Representatives from 1996 to 1998.

New Hampshire Public Radio reported last year that D’Allesandro considers himself a political “kingmaker” in the state.

D’Allesandro told the Daily Beast that he has met with seven Democratic presidential candidates so far.


Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess

Donchess was elected mayor of Nashua in 2015 after originally stepping down from the post in 1992.

The mayor endorsed Clinton ahead of the state’s 2016 primary and has already met with Buttigieg and de Blasio.


Dudley Dudley

A longtime New Hampshire Democratic activist, Dudley has a lengthy history of making presidential endorsements, especially of insurgent primary candidates.

She endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (I-Vt.) over Clinton in 2016 and former Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.) in 1992. Dudley also launched the 1980 Draft Kennedy campaign, urging then-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to challenge President Carter.

Dudley endorsed Obama in 2008. She told the Concord Monitor in March that she had not yet made a decision on who to endorse in the 2020 primary.


Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHillicon Valley: Facebook launches 'News Tab' | Senate passes bill to take on 'deepfakes' | Schumer outlines vision for electric cars Senate passes legislation to combat 'deepfake' videos Hillicon Valley: Senators seek national security review of TikTok | TikTok denies claims of Chinese government influence | CNN chief rips Facebook policy on political ads | Dem questions DHS' handling of personal data MORE

Hassan won election to the Senate in 2016 by defeating incumbent Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (R) after serving as governor of New Hampshire for four years.

She endorsed Clinton in 2016. It remains unclear whether she will endorse anybody ahead of her state’s primary.

Hassan’s fellow Democratic senator from New Hampshire, Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenProgressive group to spend as much as M to turn out young voters On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows MORE, has ruled out endorsing any of the Democratic candidates.


Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterCast and crew of 'Unbelievable' join lawmakers to advocate for reducing DNA, rape kit backlog House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent MORE

Kuster has been in Congress since 2013 after ousting Rep. Charles Bass (R).

The congresswoman, who endorsed Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, has an extensive history in New Hampshire campaign politics.

She was a member of the state’s steering committees for then-Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPompeo announces Israeli settlements do not violate international law Deval Patrick's 2020 entry raises stakes in New Hampshire Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide MORE’s (D) 2004 presidential bid, and then for Obama in his first presidential run.


State Speaker Steve Shurtleff

Shurtleff has served in the New Hampshire state House since 2004 and has been the House majority and minority leader.

Shurtleff said he received calls from Biden, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-N.J.) after he was elected Speaker.



Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin

Benjamin made history in 2010 when he became the first African American elected mayor in Columbia.

Benjamin said he plans to make a formal endorsement later this year, according to McClatchy. He supported Clinton in 2016.


Rep. James Clyburn

Clyburn has long been an influential figure in Palmetto State politics, especially when it comes to connecting with South Carolina’s sought-after African American vote.

Though the South Carolinian has said he will not make an endorsement in the state’s Democratic primary, state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) told McClatchy that he believes Clyburn “is tacitly endorsing” Biden.


Rep. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamConservative group unveils million ad campaign against Trump impeachment Club for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising MORE

Cunningham narrowly defeated Republican Katie Arrington in 2018, becoming the first Democratic congressman to represent South Carolina’s 1st District since 1981.

An endorsement from the congressman would be seen as important in the deep-red state.


Former Gov. Jim Hodges

Hodges has a long history in South Carolina Democratic politics, having served as governor from 1999 to 2003, and in the state House of Representatives.

He has backed longshot candidates before, including former NATO Commander Wesley Clark in 2004, and he even signed a petition supporting Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertHelen Mirren, Ian McKellen act out Trump Ukraine call in Colbert appearance Klobuchar to Colbert: We're going 'to build a blue wall' in PA, WI, MI and 'make Trump pay for it' Sherrod Brown: GOP colleagues privately acknowledge Trump is racist, misogynist MORE’s satirical run in 2008, arguing the comedian was bringing “a sense of levity to politics that’s needed.”

But he endorsed Obama in 2008 and then Clinton in the last presidential election.


Carol and Don Fowler

The importance of the power couple in the state was made clear after The Post and Courier reported that their home has been graced by Democratic hopefuls including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMaloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee She Should Run launches initiative to expand number of women in political process MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president MORE (D-Minn.), as well as de Blasio.

Don Fowler served as the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party from 1971 to 1980, and later served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997. Carol Fowler led South Carolina’s Democratic Party from 2007 to 2011.

Don backed Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, while Carol threw her support behind Obama.



Former Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa

Del Papa made history twice in Nevada — winning election as the state’s first female secretary of state in 1986 and the first female attorney general of the state in 1990.

While she retired in 2002, she has been active in Nevada Democratic presidential politics.

She worked as the co-chairwoman for Clinton’s presidential campaign in Nevada in 2008, according to the Las Vegas Sun, and supported her candidacy again in 2016.


Rep. Steven HorsfordSteven Alexander HorsfordProgressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year Pelosi announces launch of formal impeachment inquiry into Trump MORE

Horsford made history in 2013 when he became the first African American to represent the Silver State in Congress.

He was defeated by a Republican challenger in 2014, though he regained his seat in 2018.

Before his time on Capitol Hill, Horsford served in the state Senate from 2005 to 2013. He was the first African American to be majority leader in the state.


Former Gov. Bob Miller

Miller is the longest-serving governor in Nevada’s history, holding the post from 1989 to 1999, and was the last Democrat to hold the post until Gov. Steve Sisolak was elected in 2018.

Miller backed Clinton in 2008 and 2016.


Gov. Steve Sisolak

Sisolak took office as governor of Nevada as part of the state’s blue wave in 2018.

Sisolak has long ties to the state’s organized labor groups, a relationship that helped him defeat the Republican candidate, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, in 2018.

Before serving as governor, Sisolak served as the chair of the Clarke County Commission, which includes the Las Vegas Strip as part of its jurisdiction.

Biden campaigned for Sisolak and current Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford during the 2018 campaign.


Rep. Dina TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina TitusHouse Democrat slams Trump: 'I'd like to impeach the bastard right now' Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE

Titus has been active in Nevada politics since 1988 when she was first elected to the Nevada state Senate, where she served as minority leader from 1993 to 2008.

She was first elected to Congress in 2008 but lost her 2010 reelection bid to represent the state’s 3rd District. She came back to the House in 2013 after switching to Nevada’s 1st District due to redistricting. 

Titus immediately endorsed Clinton when she launched her presidential campaign in April of 2015.


The Culinary Workers Union

Democratic presidential hopefuls have already begun to court the Culinary Union, which boasts a membership of 60,000.

The group is seen as one of the state’s most influential unions, stretching into Nevada’s vast hospitality and service industry.

While the union did not endorse Clinton or Sanders in the 2016 primary, it did throw its weight behind Obama in 2008.

The union’s former political director, state Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D), endorsed Biden in April.


NOT INCLUDED: Sens. Catherine Cortez-Masto and Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senators introduce bill to create 'parity' among broadband programs Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill MORE and former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid: Early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire 'not representative of the country anymore' The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Bottom Line MORE.

All three Nevada politicians have made clear they will not endorse a candidate until after the state’s caucuses.