City Council members endorse Clinton

City Council members endorse Clinton
February 18
00:00 2016
Dan Besse speaks while Molly Leight (left) and Denise “DD” Adams look on as they endorse Hillary Clinton.



With a month to go until the North Carolina primary, half of the Winston-Salem City Council announced their endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president at the Forsyth County Democratic Party headquarters on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

City Council Members Denise “DD” Adams, Dan Besse, Molly Leight and Vivian Burke, who couldn’t make it to the event, have all endorsed Clinton, who is a former first lady, senator and secretary of state. All four supported then-Senator Barack Obama over then-Senator Clinton in 2008, and now say that she is clearly the best person to build on Obama’s accomplishments as president.

“Hillary is the one candidate who truly understands the necessity of building our 21st century infrastructure and has the experience and temperament to make it happen,” said Besse, who lauded her plan to invest in infrastructure and create jobs.

Adams said Clinton is a longtime supporter of voting rights and praised her plans for automatic registration for eligible 18 year-olds, restoring the Voting Rights Act and mandating a minimum of 20 days of early voting.

“I’m enthusiastic about Hillary’s plan to combat Republican efforts to stifle our voices and your vote,” she said. Leight highlighted Clinton’s stands on women’s issues like equal pay and paid leave.

“Hillary Clinton has worked her entire career for women and girls,” she said.

Each city council member said that they had a difficult choice between two qualified candidates in 2008 when they chose Obama over Clinton. Besse, who was running for lieutenant governor at the time, said it was Clinton’s judgement when voting to authorize military force in Iraq in 2002, which led to the Iraq War, which led him to support Obama, who opposed the war. Besse now says he believes she’s learned from that vote and that Obama tapping her as his first secretary of state speaks well of her judgement.

“Like any extremely capable and brilliant individual, Hillary Clinton learns from her errors and she grows and doesn’t make the same mistakes twice,” he said. Besse said he felt that Clinton was a candidate who was capable on all the issues. He said he felt her primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did vote against authorizing force in Iraq, is “mono focused” against Wall Street and big banks in his campaign, while Clinton will deal with the many different causes of inequality.

Endorsements for both Sanders and Clinton have picked up recently with the Nevada Democratic caucus on Saturday, South Carolina primary on Feb. 27, and  Super Tuesday on March 1, when 12 states hold their primaries or caucuses. The Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Clinton last week. Sanders, civil rights advocate and self-described democratic socialist,  was recently endorsed by civil rights icon and entertainer Harry Belafonte; Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, who died while being arrested by New York police; and former NAACP President Ben Jealous.

Sanders, who is trailing by double digits in state polls, is coming off a win in New Hampshire and a close second in Iowa.  In January, Sanders’ campaign raised $20 million, compared to Clinton’s $15 million. That’s not counting Super PACs, independent groups that campaign for candidates. Priorities USA Action, one of two pro-Clinton Super PACs, had $45 million in January. Sanders, who has denounced Super PACs because of the influence he says they give special interests over politicians, doesn’t have any affiliated Super PACs.

Supporters of Sanders opened a Winston-Salem office for his campaign in January and the Clinton campaign recently opened an office in Raleigh and opened one in Greensboro today (Feb. 18).

The North Carolina primary will be held on March 15 and early voting will run from March 3-12. 

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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