Hillary Clinton received a major S.C. endorsement Thursday when Charleston Mayor Joe Riley chose to back the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner.
The Holy City’s mayor for the past 40 years switched his support from Vice President Joe Biden, who said Wednesday that he would not enter the race, Riley’s office confirmed.
Riley backed then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama over Clinton in 2008.
Riley is considered the state’s second-most influential elected Democrat, behind U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia. Clyburn has said he has no plans to endorse a candidate in South Carolina’s Feb. 27 Democratic presidential primary.
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Clinton also has the backing of two former Democratic S.C. governors, Dick Riley and Jim Hodges.
The former secretary of state holds a huge lead in S.C. polls. In a CNN/ORC poll this month, Clinton received support from 70 percent of S.C. Democrats if Biden were not in the race, well ahead of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who netted 20 percent