Obama Picks Up Key Endorsement and Support in South Carolina…

Statement from Former SC Governor Jim Hodges

Former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges Endorses Barack Obama

COLUMBIA, SC – Former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges today endorsed U.S. Sen. Barack Obama for President.

Hodges stressed that Senator Obama is the one candidate who can heal old divisions and bring people together to deliver solutions to our nation’s most important problems, zeroing in on an American public education system in need of reform. He also singled Obama out as the candidate mostly likely to win in November 2008 by making states in the South competitive for Democrats again. He’ll win support from Independents and Republicans, who are hungry for a new kind of politics, in numbers that will help downticket Democratic candidates, Hodges said.

Hodges served from 1999-2003. He was the first candidate to beat an incumbent since 1876, and the only Democrat elected governor in South Carolina in the last 25 years. During his time as the state’s top official, Hodges worked with Education Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum – a member of Obama’s South Carolina Steering Committee – to reform the state’s schools. Hodges spearheaded the creation of First Steps, a comprehensive, results-oriented statewide education initiative to help prepare children to reach first grade healthy and ready to succeed. He improved teacher pay and also fought to pass the South Carolina Education Lottery, which has generated $1.74 billion for education in South Carolina.

“If we want to make the lives of everyday South Carolinians better – improve our schools, strengthen families and cover the uninsured — it will take fundamental changes to how business is done in Washington,” Hodges said. “Barack Obama has been bringing people together to create change all his life. He’s the right choice to turn the page on the divisive politics that have led to partisan gridlock and inaction.

“I also have a practical reason for supporting Barack. I think he can win in November and make states that haven’t been on the Democratic electoral map competitive again by attracting Independents and moderate Republicans.”

Hodges will join the campaign as a national co-chair

Lets Go Iowa!! Caucus for Barack

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