Former Vice-President Joe Biden, now Democratic presidential candidate, right, is introduced at the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans by U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus are backing former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

The Biden campaign announced Tuesday that it had secured endorsements from: State Sen. Gerald Boudreaux, of Lafayette; Sen. Joe Bouie, of New Orleans; Sen. Jimmy Harris, of New Orleans; Sen. Cleo Fields, of Baton Rouge; Sen. Ed Price, of Gonzales; Rep. Larry Selders, of Baton Rouge; Rep. Denise Marcelle, of Baton Rouge; Rep. Rodney Lyons, of Harvey; Rep. Vincent Pierre, of Lafayette; Rep. Barbara Carpenter, of Baton Rouge; Rep. Jason Hughes, of New Orleans; and Rep. C. Travis Johnson, of Ferriday. All are Democrats.

They join State Sen. Regina Barrow, of Baton Rouge; Sen. Troy Carter, of New Orleans; Rep. Randall Gaines, of LaPlace and former Rep. Barbara Norton, of Shreveport, all Democrats who have previously announced their support for Biden.

The endorsements include almost half of the 35-member Black Caucus. 

Biden, a one-time frontrunner who has slipped in recent polls, has focused much of his campaign efforts on appealing to a key Democratic demographic: black voters.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, is a co-chair and major surrogate for Biden's campaign.

“Joe Biden is the only candidate in this race thus far who has earned the overwhelming support of the base of our party and the only candidate who can take big, progressive policies and turn them into tangible results for working families. Today’s endorsements reflect that,” Richmond said of the line-up. “The massive support we have in not only my home state of Louisiana, but in diverse states across the country further underscores that voters know Joe Biden and know he is our one sure bet to beat Donald Trump.”

Some high-profile Louisiana Democrats have stayed out of what's been a blistering primary battle for the chance to face Trump in November. The Democratic field has been winnowed from more than two dozen candidates to 11 heading into Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

All Republican members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation have been steadfast supporters of Trump’s reelection bid. U.S. House Reps. Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, and Mike Johnson, of Bossier City, attended a Trump rally in the Granite State Monday night.

Early on, State Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, and New Orleans Councilwoman Helena Moreno came out in favor of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who is no longer in the race.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, has typically stayed out of national politics and hasn’t endorsed anyone in the presidential primary. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, once considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination himself, is now a political analyst for CNN.

James Carville, a Louisiana native and prominent political analyst who was behind former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, has endorsed Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who is polling at a round 1 percent nationally.

Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire and former mayor of New York City, hired a team of prominent Louisiana campaign veterans to work on his 2020 efforts in the state including Richard Carbo, who just ran Edwards’ reelection campaign; Ryan Berni, a longtime aide to Landrieu; and Bill Rouselle, a long-time strategist who worked on campaigns for Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, among others.

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