Clinton Endorsed by Black Leader

ATLANTA (AP) _ U-S Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton received another boost from a prominent black leader when the head of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators threw his support behind her presidential campaign.

Georgia state Representative Calvin Smyre endorsed Clinton yesterday, saying she has, "the strength and experience'' to bring about needed change.

Clinton is locked in a battle for the black vote with U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who is trying to become the nation's first black president.

That fight is heated in Georgia where blacks have made up nearly half the vote in the state's recent Democratic primaries.

Georgia's presidential primary is February 5.

Clinton has already been endorsed by Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta, a hero of the civil rights struggle.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker and Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, the state's only two black statewide elected officials, are lso supporting Clinton.

Obama has the support of another pair of black U-S congressmen from Georgia, Sanford Bishop of Albany and Hank Johnson of Lithonia.

Smyre has served for nearly 30 years in Georgia's Legislature, where he has held a number of leadership roles.

He' s a past Chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and a past President of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. He is an executive vice president for corporate affairs at Synovus Financial Corporation.

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