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Dixon endorses Barack Obama

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon endorsed Sen. Barack Obama yesterday as the Democratic candidate for president.

Speaking at Baltimore's historic Orchard Street Church, Dixon said Obama's election would help fulfill the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams, heal the country and provide a boost for urban areas.

"We have to have the right person to serve this country for all the people right now. And that is why I am supporting Barack Obama," Dixon said from a lectern in the church, which was once a safe house for escaping slaves.

Dixon said she shares Obama's vision of lifting up the needy.

"We do what we do for the generations to come after us in our cities across this country, who deal with violent crime every day, unemployment, drug addiction, a war that we are putting trillions of dollars in while our schools are falling apart," she said.

Maryland Democrats are not of one mind about the presidential primary. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Gov. Martin O'Malley have endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton. Former Sen. John Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, also has backers in Maryland, including state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

Also speaking at yesterday's rally was Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat who has been campaigning for Obama in South Carolina. "A lot of people are trying to make this a white-and-black campaign," Cummings said. "But I can tell you this is a red, white and blue campaign. ... This is about lifting up America."

Other Democrats who joined Cummings and Dixon at the church included Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and state Dels. Nathaniel T. Oaks, Samuel I. Rosenberg and Shawn Z. Tarrant.

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