De Blasio’s first endorsement comes from small town South Carolina mayor
Mayor Bill de Blasio got his very first endorsement for president of the United States from … wait for it … the mayor of Orangeburg, SC.
That’s right — Orangeburg, population 13,000.
Hizzoner had to work hard for the endorsement, making three trips to the tiny southern town before Mayor Michael Butler finally caved.
Still, Butler wasn’t exactly fulsome in his praise.
“I believe he would do a good job,” he told the Orangeburg Times and Democrat.
Even the local paper couldn’t help but smile at de Blasio’s quixotic run, noting, “The third time’s a charm. Well, at least for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.”
The endorsement came as de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray crashed the monthly meeting of the Orangeburg County Democratic Party.
“His main message is putting working people first,” Butler was quoted as saying in the Times and Democrat. “That’s what moved to me, working people first.”
In March, Butler, who doubles as the bishop of the town’s Victory Tabernacle Deliverance Temple, inadvertently led de Blasio into flapping his arms during the choir’s rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” — an awkward display that earned Hizzoner a hail of criticism for seeming to condone the singer’s misogynistic behavior.
Two weeks ago, de Blasio returned to Orangeburg for a meal at a local barbecue joint.
“I feel like I’m at a family reunion,” McCray claimed.
“Your endorsement means so much to me. And your leadership here is just extraordinary,” de Blasio gushed after Butler’s announcement, according to the Times and Democrat. “You have such a fan in me.”
In a press release later Saturday, the de Blasio campaign praised the endorsement as significant, stressing that every presidential candidate who has visited South Carolina has stopped by Orangeburg, the county seat of Orangeburg County and where Butler is the first African-American Mayor.
The town has the second largest population of African American voters in South Carolina, campaign reps pointed out.
Gloria Steinem gave de Blasio highly qualified support earlier this week, saying he was among the top four candidates she’d consider endorsing.
Meanwhile, most of the Democratic candidates who are polling above zero percent were gathered in California to schmooze at the state’s annual Democratic Party convention on Saturday.
And eight of the top contenders made 20-minute “big idea” pitches to lefty activists in a forum sponsored by MoveOn.
Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) promised to fund savings accounts for low-income children. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Tex.) said he would eliminate immigration fees.
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