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 HarkinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer New Hampshire parochialism, not whiteness, bedevils Democrats Democrats must question possible political surveillance 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 BidenWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner 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 ClintonWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines 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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey House chairman cautions against remote voting, suggests other options amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Congress tiptoes toward remote voting MORE (Calif.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order The Hill's Morning Report — ,000,000,000,000: GOP unveils historic US rescue effort Gillibrand endorses Biden for president MORE (Hawaii).


J.D. Scholten

The former Democratic congressional candidate came close to unseating longtime Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingCastro forms PAC, boosts five House candidates Man sentenced for throwing glass of water at Steve King Comedians create 'Confederate statue' of Steve King 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 TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life 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 BullockPolitics and the pandemic — Republicans are rightly worried The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race MORE, New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Sacrificing American lives on the altar of the Dow Jones Trump to travel to see naval hospital ship deploy to NYC MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging MORE (Calif.) and author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests Pelosi: 'I usually always cast my vote for a woman' Pelosi: 'We'll have a woman president' someday 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 DelaneyJohn Delaney endorses Biden Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Lobbying world 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 SandersWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on 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) HassanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? Overnight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus tests Democrats press insurers to cover all coronavirus testing MORE

Hassan won election to the Senate in 2016 by defeating incumbent Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteLobbying World On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs 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 ShaheenWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus American citizen released from Lebanese prison, returning to US MORE, has ruled out endorsing any of the Democratic candidates.


Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterDemocratic Congresswoman Val Demings endorses Biden ahead of Florida primary Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate 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 KerryLongtime Biden adviser posthumously tests positive for coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: House to vote on .2T stimulus after mad dash to Washington Conservative lawmakers tell Trump to 'back off' attacks on GOP colleague 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 WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerLawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men Amazon doubling overtime pay for warehouse workers 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 CunninghamOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing 16 things to know for today about coronavirus Lysol, disinfecting wipes and face masks mark coronavirus vote in House 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 Colbert'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' returning Monday with Biden interview Howard Stern plans to begin broadcasting from home NBC News employee dies following coronavirus infection 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 GillibrandLawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Progressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging 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 HorsfordBiden wins endorsement of key Nevada lawmaker Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill 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 TitusLawmakers highlight flights back to DC for huge coronavirus vote Bipartisan lawmakers ask NIH for information on 'disturbing' studies on monkeys Biden picks up first endorsement from Iowa congressional delegation 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 RosenShocking ignorance about the Holocaust illustrates the need to pass the Never Again Education Act Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Bipartisan Senate resolution would urge UN to renew Iran arms embargo, travel restrictions MORE and former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP embraces big stimulus after years of decrying it Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate Winners and losers from Super Tuesday MORE.

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