Tallahassee—Members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators stood on the steps of the Old Florida Capitol and pledged their support to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The lawmakers, part of the largest caucus in the Florida legislature, brought the endorsement total to 80 African American elected officials and influential leaders from the nation’s key battleground state. Lawmakers said Mrs. Clinton has a long and consistent record of commitment to change for African Americans. They said she is a friend, that they trust to deliver on those promises. “Hillary Clinton is the leader who will always stand and fight for communities of color across Florida – and we are standing with her,” said Caucus Chairman Rep Ed Narain of Tampa. “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.”
Senator Arthenia Joyner, also of Tampa, echoed Narian’s support. “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,” Joyner said. “As president, she will stay that course – protecting voting rights, fixing our broken criminal justice system, and building on President Obama‘s progress.”
The endorsement strengthens Clinton’s presence in Florida as Black voters continue to grow and impact election outcomes. Among eligible voters, Hispanics and Blacks are on the rise increase while White voters are declining. According to Patrick Oakford, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, “It does clearly show that to win key states, like Florida, a candidate will need substantial support among voters of color. Voters of color are becoming a larger share of the electorate,” making up 38 percent of eligible Florida voters in 2016, up from 35 percent in 2012.
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