ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph Lowery is expected to endorse state Sen. Kasim Reed for mayor of Atlanta on Wednesday, making him the second civil rights icon to do so after former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.
Reed campaign spokesman Reese McCranie confirmed the endorsement to The Associated Press on Tuesday night. Lowery is scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday at 3 p.m. at The King Center.
Lowery, 88, was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during his historic campaign to become the country's first black president. He gave the benediction at Obama's inauguration in January and earlier this year, Lowery was awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Young endorsed Reed during the general election campaign. Reed, who is black, is now in a runoff election against city councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is white. Political observers say the contest will largely focus on the issue of race.
Last week, Reed was endorsed by several black ministers, many of whom formerly endorsed his former opponent, city council President Lisa Borders. She has since backed Reed after she fell short of garnering the needed votes to get into the runoff election.