John Lewis made it official on Thursday morning, endorsing Elizabeth Colbert Busch. He released the following statement:
"Elizabeth Colbert Busch is my friend and my sister. I am endorsing her in the Special Election for South Carolina’s First District. The Colbert family has always been a strong advocate for all the people of South Carolina. I have visited the First District and know they need a powerful voice in Washington; Elizabeth can be that voice. I know she will be a hard working and dedicated Member of Congress who speaks up and speaks out for the people she serves. She has never been afraid to get in the way. Elizabeth Colbert Busch deserves the help and support of all the people of the Lowcountry.”
In response Colbert Busch said:
“It would be the greatest honor imaginable for me to work with a man of his stature. To have the endorsement of someone who is universally recognized for his courage and leadership is humbling. I promise to work tirelessly for the people in the 1st District and justify the confidence that they and Rep. Lewis have placed in me.”
Elizabeth Colbert Busch will receive the endorsement of Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights pioneer John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Thursday, Patch has learned.
Colbert Busch is slated to appear on MSNBC on Thursday morning, when Lewis will make the announcement official.
The support from yet another influential African-American figure — U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) committed to supporting her last week — is critical for Colbert Busch in both the Democratic primary and general election.
Colbert Busch's only remaining opposition in the Democratic primary is Ben Frasier, who is African-American. Frasier's candidacy is thought by some to be a ploy to take away votes from Colbert Busch, with the belief that some votes would go to him simply because he is African-American.
In the general election, the support of the African-American community, which traditionally votes Democratic, will be crucial for Colbert Busch. The district is reliably Republican as evidenced by Mitt Romney win of 18 percentage points over Pres. Obama last November. For Colbert Busch to win, a strong turnout of African-American voters is essential. Minority voters make up slightly more than 22 percent of the electorate in the district.
See Colbert Busch's other endorsements here.
The 73-year-old Lewis was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s while chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He participated in numerous acts of civil disobedience in an effort to achieve eqaulity for his fellow African-Americans. Most notably, he led the Freedom Rides and was at the famous "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
In 1987, Lewis was elected to Congress. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
As a Congressman, Lewis sits on the House Ways and Means Committee.