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 HarkinErnst challenges Greenfield to six debates in Iowa Senate race Biden unveils disability rights plan: 'Your voices must be heard' Bottom line 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 BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections 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 ClintonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Hillary Clinton touts student suspended over crowded hallway photo: 'John Lewis would be proud' 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 ButtigiegCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win MORE, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over MORE (Calif.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (Hawaii).


J.D. Scholten

The former Democratic congressional candidate came close to unseating longtime Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset 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 TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally 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 BullockRepublicans uncomfortably playing defense 300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy MORE, New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal Overnight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down MORE (Calif.) and author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests 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 DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight 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 SandersThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Warren urges investment in child care workers amid pandemic 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) HassanSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Hillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena power Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power MORE

Hassan won election to the Senate in 2016 by defeating incumbent Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteBottom line Bottom line Bottom Line 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 ShaheenThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans MORE, has ruled out endorsing any of the Democratic candidates.


Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterChinese tech giants caught up in rising US-China tensions Democratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers 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 KerryThe Memo: Biden faces balancing act Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers 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 WarrenBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down Democratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets 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 CunninghamMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Hoyer: Maskless Republicans a public health threat Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 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 ColbertThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin previews GOP coronavirus relief package GOP official says Elizabeth Warren 'endorses voter fraud' after joke about Bailey voting for Biden Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed 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 GillibrandExpanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Lobbying world 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 HorsfordThe robbing of a wildlife refuge in Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford wins Democratic House primary in Nevada Overnight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader 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 TitusOvernight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing Federal employees push for COVID-19 protections in 'dangerous' workplaces 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 RosenSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats call for expedited hearing for Trump's public lands nominee Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis MORE and former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE.

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