COLUMBIA, S.C. — Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg is picking up his first endorsement among South Carolina’s black lawmakers as attention in the early voting contest turns toward more diverse states. 

Buttigieg‘s campaign announced Wednesday that the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor would be receiving backing from state Rep. JA Moore, a Democrat from Charleston. 

Moore is a first-term lawmaker who initially backed California Sen. Kamala Harris last year, frequently appearing on cable networks to advocate for her candidacy. Moore calls Buttigieg the best remaining candidate suited to defeat President Donald Trump in the November general election. 

Moore cites Buttigieg's strong performances in last week's Iowa caucuses and Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. 

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A triumphant Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday he is ready to take his Democratic presidential campaign to the rest of the nation after a strong finish in New Hampshire.

The audience in the gymnasium in Nashua was electric Tuesday as supporters chanted, “Boot-edge-edge, Boot-edge-edge!” — the familiar phonetic of the candidate's unusual name.

“Now our campaign moves on to Nevada and South Carolina and across the country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step,” the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told a crowd of supporters.

Buttigieg vowed to “end the era of Donald Trump,” while keeping up pressure on his top rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he said was taking a “my-way-or-the-highway approach.”

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