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Pete Buttigieg Earns First Endorsement From Black Congressman

U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown
U.S. House of Representatives

Anthony Brown's support comes as the out presidential candidate aims to prove he can win over Black voters.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has picked up his first endorsement from a Black member of Congress.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, said he favors the former South Bend, Ind., mayor to be the Democratic nominee.

"I firmly believe that Pete Buttigieg is the guy to lead our nation after we defeat Donald Trump and have to pick up the pieces and repair the damage of the last four years," Brown told The Washington Post. "He's well-versed and studied and really diligent about the issues from a policy standpoint."

The support from Brown, Maryland's former lieutenant governor, comes as Buttigieg aims to be America's first openly gay president.

Brown was first elected to Congress in 2016. His vote could be valuable in winning some of the 79 Maryland delegate votes up for grabs in an April 28 primary.

But the support is most valuable because it comes at a time when Buttigieg needs to make inroads with Black voters, a criticial constituency in early-primary states like South Carolina, where he's polling in single digits. The 37-year-old candidate has struggled with that demographic, which has become a bit of a media narrative.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Buttigieg has consistently pulled worse among Black voters than voters overall. A Quinnipiac poll showed him with 24 percent support among all Democrats and 4 percent support among Blacks, for example. A YouGov/Economist poll put him at 16 percent overall and 2 percent among Black voters.

That also was showcased in the first Democratic debate when anchor Rachel Maddow pressed Buttieg about his handling of a police-related shooting in South Bend that resulted in the death of a Black man.

But Buttigieg has been actively trying to combat the notion that he had poor relations with Black voters as mayor. This week, the campaign also released a new video ad showcase positive relations between the South Bend mayor and the Black community there.

The ad shows Black voters providing testimonials about his outreach. "Mayor Pete is light-years ahead of some people that have been in politics for many, many years," says South Bend resident Marilyn. "He has a heart for our city," says a constituent named Michael. "I think he'll show the same heart for our country."

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