Biden gets endorsement of South Carolina’s ‘Reckoning Crew’

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday picked up the endorsement of the “Reckoning Crew” in South Carolina, a group of 100 predominately black female activists that previously supported Sen. Kamala Harris‘s presidential campaign.

“Joe Biden’s support in South Carolina, particularly amongst African American voters, is undeniable and unshakable,” former Richland County Council Chair Bernice Scott, who leads the “Reckoning Crew,” said in a statement on Tuesday. “Throughout this race he has taken hits from every angle and come out stronger. He has proven to us that he has exactly what it takes to beat Donald Trump next year.”

The group’s endorsement comes as Biden continues to lead the Democratic field with the support of black voters. The “Reckoning Crew” endorsement could help Biden win over former Harris supporters in South Carolina who are now looking for a candidate to support after the senator from California dropped out of the presidential race last week.

The group organizes in the rural part of Richland County, the state’s second biggest county and home to the capital city of Columbia. It backed Hillary Clinton in 2008 over then-Sen. Barack Obama; Obama bested Clinton by more than 25 points. It backed Clinton again in 2016; that time around, the endorsement helped power Clinton to a nearly 50-point victory in South Carolina over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“We previously supported Kamala Harris and believed her voice was an important one to have in this race, but it’s time for us to unite as one and put all of our energy behind the candidate who will not only beat Donald Trump but knows how to fix what he’s broken on day one. And from there, we are confident Joe will continue to build on the history he made with Barack Obama,” Scott added.

Harris had invested significant time and resources in the first-in-the-South primary state, but Biden’s strong performance in polls, particularly among African American voters, never slipped. Black voters make up a major bloc of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina.

During the 2008 and 2016 primaries, members of the Reckoning Crew canvassed door to door on foot, by pickup truck and golf cart, touting Clinton’s message to rural black voters. In 2016, Richland County, where roughly half the population is African American, cast the most votes in the state for Democrats.

The group originally spread word about Harris and her message. Now, they’ll do it for Biden.

“We plan on putting in the long days and long nights, working around the clock to get out the vote for Joe. We’ll be making phone calls and hitting the pavement going door-to-door talking to voters about what is at stake in this election. No one can afford to stay home- and they won’t if we have anything to do with it,” Scott said.

With news of this endorsement, the Biden campaign says more than 90 current and former elected officials, community activists and faith leaders in South Carolina have now endorsed the former vice president.

CNN’s Jasmine Wright contributed to this story

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