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Florida Black caucus leaders, scores of African-American officials endorse Hillary Clinton

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A day after Hillary Clinton won a majority of Democratic delegates up for grabs in last night’s Super Tuesday primaries – partly on the strength of her support in minority communities – about 100 African-American Florida elected officials came out in support the former Secretary of State’s bid for the White House.

Among them were the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, and its new chair Tampa Rep. Ed Narain.

“Hillary Clinton is the leader who will always stand and fight for communities of color across Florida—and we are standing with her,” said Narain in a statement on Wednesday. “As president, she will end the school to prison pipeline, reform our broken criminal justice system, address gun violence, and make college affordable so that every student can get an education.”

The most senior black legislator in Florida, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, echoed Narain’s sentiments Wednesday.

“Hillary Clinton has been a courageous fighter for civil rights and those without a voice her entire life. Her first job after law school was with the Children’s Defense Fund, where she worked to separate young people incarcerated in adult jails,” said Joyner. “As president, she will stay that course—protecting voting rights, fixing our broken criminal justice system, and building on President Obama’s progress.”

Jacksonville Rep. Mia Jones and Gadsden County Commission Chairwoman Brenda Holt also issued emphatic endorsements of Clinton, whose spouse former President Bill Clinton is sometimes jokingly referred to as “the first black president” for his strong rapport with the African-American community.

Jacksonville U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown also officially came out in support of Clinton’s campaign, as did Sens. Oscar BraynonAudrey Gibson, and Geraldine Thompson.

Conspicuously absent from the list of African-American Clinton backers was Cutler Bay Sen. Dwight Bullard, known as perhaps the Senate’s most progressive member.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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