The Latest: No-show mayors prompt Buttigieg to drop SC event


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The Latest on the Democratic presidential primary contest (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Pete Buttigieg is canceling a campaign stop with small-town African American mayors in South Carolina because they declined to attend. This follows South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn’s endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Buttigieg was scheduled to meet with a handful of African American mayors at a soul food restaurant in tiny Fairfax, in rural western South Carolina. It was to be part of a whirlwind final day of campaigning ahead of Saturday’s Democratic primary in the state.

However, as Buttigieg was beginning his first event of the day in Charleston, the campaign issued a press release noting the event was canceled, citing “scheduling constraints.”

Aides said privately the event was scrubbed because none of the mayors, whom the campaign had not identified in advance, planned to attend, some apparently out of respect for Clyburn’s endorsement.

Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American member of Congress, endorsed Biden on Wednesday. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal scheduling matters.


11:15 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is announcing his support for Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary, a show of support from a former vice presidential nominee ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday contests.

In a release Friday, Kaine calls Biden a man of “exemplary heart, character, and experience” who reminds him of “Harry S. Truman, an outwardly ordinary man whose work ethic, faith in the goodness of everyday Americans, and love of country made him a great President.”

Kaine stood as Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 election. His backing comes a day before South Carolina’s primary, in which Biden needs a strong showing going into next week’s vote, in which a massive haul of delegates is at stake.

Biden has led surveys in South Carolina, where Saturday’s contest could be his first primary victory in three runs at the White House.

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during a roundtable discussing health equity, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at the Nicholtown Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)