Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Bernie 2020 Rolls Out First South Carolina Endorsements

April 18, 2019

Ahead of his second visit to the state since launching his presidential campaign, Sanders announces a slate of endorsements from elected officials, labor, and faith leaders

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- As U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders visits South Carolina, Bernie 2020 announces a slate of endorsements from elected officials and faith and labor leaders from across the Palmetto State. The endorsements, announced more than ten months before the state's primary, demonstrate the growing support for Sanders' presidential run.

Bernie 2020 South Carolina State Director, Kwadjo Campbell, who served for eight years on the Charleston City Council and brings over twenty years of experience in community and political organizing to Sanders' South Carolina operation, said:

"We're proud to have the endorsement of some of South Carolina's most distinguished elected officials, labor, and faith leaders. With their support, and the support of thousands of volunteers across the state, our campaign is building a grassroots movement that will fundamentally transform this country."

The slate of endorsements includes:

  • State Representative Krystle Simmons:

    "Bernie Sanders is a champion for women's rights and has been rocking with middle class and minority communities since before he was popular. What he did back then matters just as much as it does now," Rep. Simmons said. "Integrity is not who you are when the cameras are rolling, but who you are when they're not. I said it before and I'll say it again: "you do not have to be poor to be relatable, you simply need to be authentic." Bernie is and has been that. That's why I'm supporting him for President in 2020."

Simmons represents the people of the 117th State House District. In 2018 she was the first African-American elected to represent the Lowcountry in the State House. Rep. Simmons is a single mother of five children and has been a long time advocate for improving South Carolina's broken education system

  • Donna DeWitt, South Carolina AFL-CIO President Emeritus:

    "Bernie Sanders has been consistent on the issues throughout his career and life. He presents a positive message for a future that includes all people," DeWitt said. "As I have watched him, with young people in particular, I think of him carrying out the words of one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, 'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.' With Bernie's experience, I know he will be inclusive and bring the many people of our country together, fulfilling a dream for so many."

DeWitt is a long-time labor leader in South Carolina, serving as the South Carolina President of the AFL-CIO from 1996 to 2012. 

  • Reverend and State Representative Ivory Thigpen:

    "I support Sen. Sanders because of his willingness to engage the religious left and to fight for the issues we hold dear to our hearts," said Rev. Rep. Ivory Thigpen. "The religious right has used politics to drive their agenda, and the time has come to organize around an agenda driven by compassion. Compassion in health care, the criminal justice system, and economic justice."

Thigpen serves as the Senior Pastor of Rehoboth Baptist Church in Columbia. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the National Baptist Convention, making him the youngest appointee to this prestigious board of clergy. Rev. Rep. Thigpen has represented the people of 79th State House District since 2016.

  • State Representative Justin Bamberg:

    "I stand with Senator Bernie Sanders today as I stood with him boldly in 2016. His vision for our country has pushed the moral compass of our citizens, our legislators, and even the presidential candidates who now are emboldened by his policies," said Rep. Bamberg. "More Americans support a living wage, Medicare For All, and free college tuition than ever before. Senator Sanders was one of the first to push for these policies, and I am ready to help him reach the finish line to make it a reality for all Americans."

Bamberg has represented the people of the 90th State House District since 2015. Additionally, Rep. Bamberg is a trial lawyer at Bamberg Legal, LLC, where he has sought justice for the families of victims of law enforcement shooting. 

  • State Representative Wendell Gilliard:

    "I have been with Senator Sanders since 2016. I stand with Bernie because he stands for Justice. Economic Justice in the face of institutionalized racism. He is not afraid to take on the big corporations and banks. The platform speaks to my constituents more than any other. We need real change, not gradual," Rep. Gilliard said. "We need to elect someone who is going to not only undo what this President has done, but one that will set us on a course to build an America where everyone has health care, a living wage, and is treated like a human being. That someone is Sen. Bernie Sanders. Welcome to the People's Revolution."

Gilliard represents the people of the 111th House District. In addition to serving in the State House, Rep. Gilliard has been a longtime labor leader, serving for fifteen years as the president of the United Steelworkers Local 863.

  • Reverend and State Representative Terry Alexander:

    "I support Sen. Sanders, because I believe in his positions that will move this country forward. Now, Americans agree with these policies," Rep. Alexander said. "His openness to change, his progressive stance on issues that impact so many people; this is why I was one of the first legislators in South Carolina to endorse him in 2016 and am doing so this year so that we can finish what he started many years ago."

Alexander has represented the people of the 59th State House District since 2006. While in office, Rep. Alexander has worked tirelessly to protect the right to vote, ensure all South Carolinians have health care, and bring more jobs and economic opportunities to his district. 

  • State Rep. Shedron Williams:

    "As we move forward into the 2020 Presidential race, some of my constituents feel that Sen. Bernie Sanders has a great platform dealing with all education free or at an adequate cost as well as Medicare for All. These components would create a better way of life here in the great state of South Carolina," Rep. Williams said. 

Williams has represented the people of the 122nd State House District since 2018. Before being elected to the State House, Rep. Williams served as Chairman of the Hampton County Council, as the first African American to ever hold the position.

  • State Representative Cezar McKnight:

    "My district and Americans throughout the country are looking for a candidate who has a strong commitment to social change and has a clear understanding of the institutional barriers that people face," Rep. McKnight said. "I support Sen. Sanders because he speaks to the heart and moral compass of the issues. This level of understanding has propelled issues such as a living wage and Medicare for All to the national stage and has galvanized millions of Americans." 

McKnight has represented the people of the 101st State House District since 2014. While serving in the State House, Rep. McKnight proudly supported the South Carolina legislature's efforts to unify the state by removing the Confederate flag at the capitol building in the wake of the 2015 Emanuel AME massacre in Charleston. Rep. McKnight also served in the Army Reserves from 1991-99.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Bernie 2020 Rolls Out First South Carolina Endorsements Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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