Cory Booker has won a key endorsement in South Carolina: State Rep. John King, a former chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus.
King is the first South Carolina legislator to pick sides in the early primary state where Booker is devoting considerable attention and resources.
The 42-year-old funeral director was first elected to the Legislature in 2008 after serving as a Chester city councilman and six years as a county councilman. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary.
Booker is scheduled to return to South Carolina on Saturday for his third visit since announcing on February 1 that he would seek the Democratic nomination for president.
Booker will make stops in Rock Hill and Columbia.
The New Jersey senator will hold a “Conversations with Cory” at the Freedom Temple Ministries in Rock Hill, followed by a community forum on economic opportunity sponsored by the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Black Women’s Caucus.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won 73% of the vote in the South Carolina primary against Bernie Sanders. Sanders ran 10% ahead of his statewide average in York County, where Rock Hill is located. Clinton won 76% in Richland County, which includes Columbia.
Barack Obama won 55% in South Carolina in the 2008 Democratic primary, followed by Clinton (27%) and John Edwards (18%). He carried York and Richland counties.