Clinton opens NC campaign HQ with support from Democratic leader

Larry D. Hall

As Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shifts her attention to the South and attempts to shore up support among African-American and Latino voters to fend off the Bernie Sanders insurgency, she’s lining up some high-powered support.

The Clinton campaign will showcase the support of state House Democratic Leader Larry D. Hall during a press conference at 5:30 p.m. in Raleigh to announce the opening of Clinton’s state campaign headquarters.

An email sent out this morning from the Clinton campaign quotes Hall as saying, “North Carolina Democrats are excited to mobilize behind Hillary’s historic run for president.”

The wording of the statement raises questions about whether it might promote the misconception that the state Democratic Party is endorsing Clinton’s campaign in advance of the March 15 primary. The state Democratic Party doesn’t typically endorse candidates in the primary, but party officials could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

The statement from Hall, as quoted in the Clinton campaign email, continues, “From protecting access to the ballot box to standing up against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, Hillary is the only candidate who has what it takes to deliver real results for our community. We’re looking forward to talking with our friends and neighbors about Hillary’s commitment to continue fighting for working and middle class North Carolina families.”

Hall could not be reached for comment for this story by press time.

As the two Democratic candidates for president attempt to woo black voters in the South, the campaigns are lining up endorsements from African-American leaders, writers and entertainers. The Clinton campaign is announcing the endorsement of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC today. (The Congressional Black Caucus PAC is different from the Congressional Black Caucus coalition of lawmakers, which has not made an endorsement.)

US Rep. John Lewis, a member of the caucus and a veteran civil rights activist, says in a video released by the Clinton campaign: “Hillary, she is smart. More than anyone else in America today she is prepared to be president of the United States from day one.”

Meanwhile, Sanders has received the endorsement of singer Harry Belafonte. And author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who penned an essay critical of Sanders in The Atlantic because of the candidate’s unwillingness to support reparations, told “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman on Wednesday that he will be casting a vote for the Vermont senator.