Count Rep. Frederica Wilson among those impressed by Kamala Harris’ debate performance.
Wilson, who represents the congressional district that was the site of last week’s first 2020 Democratic primary debate, announced Sunday that she’s backing Harris for president.
“Senator Harris is a lifelong public servant who has staked her career on those delivering results for those most often left out,” Wilson said in a statement. “She has the courage to confront this nation’s biggest challenges: protecting access to affordable healthcare, building a more inclusive economy, revitalizing public education and addressing climate change. In the Senate and on the debate stage, we saw what a real president should look like.”
Harris, a U.S. senator from California, made waves after confronting former Vice President Joe Biden’s legislative record on school busing during last week’s debate.
Wilson represents Florida’s poorest and most Democratic-leaning congressional district and it could be a valuable stronghold for votes in a contested Democratic primary. Broward Rep. Alcee Hastings, another longtime black lawmaker who represents Florida’s second most Democratic-leaning district, was the first Florida member to endorse Harris last month.
Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush also endorsed Harris on Sunday.
“Bobby and Frederica are leaders in the United States Congress but also in our nation’s history, and I’m so proud to have their support in this race,” Harris said in a statement.
In an earlier interview with the Miami Herald, Wilson noted that many of her colleagues on the Congressional Black Caucus initially backed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in 2008, because they knew her from decades of public service and assumed she would be the nominee. Obama, like Harris, was in his first term as a U.S. senator during his successful presidential primary campaign.
Wilson, who served in the Florida Senate in 2008, was one of the first elected officials to endorse Obama in 2008.
She also gained national attention for feuding with President Donald Trump and former White House chief of staff John Kelly. Wilson claimed that Trump was insensitive when he called Myeshia Johnson, a constituent of Wilson’s whose husband La David was killed during a U.S. military operation in Niger.
Trump attacked her on Twitter and Kelly responded by making false claims about Wilson. He did not apologize before leaving the White House.