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Black leader on South Bend city council endorses Biden over Buttigieg

Black leader on South Bend city council endorses Biden over Buttigieg
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South Bend, Ind., Councilman Oliver Davis, the longest-serving African American man on the city’s Common Council, has endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE for president over his town’s mayor, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegWhat a Biden administration should look like Conservative operatives Wohl, Burkman charged in Ohio over false robocalls LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress MORE.

Davis said it's encouraging to see local representation in the crowded Democratic primary field, but he felt Biden’s experience set him apart from the upstart 37-year-old mayor, according to Politico

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“When you’re flying in the middle of a storm, you want to make sure you have steady, experienced leadership,” Davis told Politico. “I believe that Vice President Biden has demonstrated throughout the years by having a steady hand, he can help lead us through these times, and with all of the challenges we face nationally and now even internationally, he has the relationships, has the skills, and I think he can bring us together in different ways.”

Davis’s support of Biden underscores Buttigieg’s struggle to gain support from the black community, and Davis rebuked Buttigieg for the continuing issue, saying it’s “not a new problem for him.”

“For us, this has been a consistent issue that has not gone away,” Davis said.

Davis is the vice president of the nine-member Common Council and was a part of it for the duration of Buttigieg’s time as mayor of South Bend.

In response to Davis’s endorsement of his opponent, Buttigieg on Friday said he respects “him coming from a different place politically.”

“Obviously, no one person speaks for black voters in South Bend, and I’m proud of the black supporters who know me best from Indiana and from South Bend who have not only supported our campaign but traveled with us and helped tell the story of our community,” Buttigieg said during an appearance on CNN.

Davis added that Biden is a candidate who “has an understanding of the Midwest” after being on former President Obama’s ticket in 2008, when Indiana last went blue.

“What he’s doing nationally, it’s not a fluke. It’s real,” Davis said. “His numbers are real throughout the country because people know him.”