Democratic U.S. Rep. Mel Watt has endorsed Ken Lewis for U.S. Senate.
"My friendship with Ken Lewis has afforded me a close up and personal opportunity to observe Ken's intellect, his values, his ability to communicate, the way he thinks and his commitment to things that are important to me, and things that I have found to be important to the people I represent," Watt said in a news release announcing the endorsement.
"Ken Lewis will bring new and diverse ideas and perspectives to public discussions, something that's sorely needed in the public discourse and something that's sorely needed in the United States Senate. The fact that Ken Lewis has not served in political office is, in my view, a benefit and not a shortcoming."
Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, was the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and was campaign manager for Harvey Gantt's 1990 U.S. Senate campaign. The endorsement is the third for Lewis from major black political figures in the state. Lewis had previously received the endorsements of Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye.
"Mel has been at the forefront of the issues most important to both his district and the state of North Carolina," Lewis said in a news release. "From advocating for affordable housing and responsible lending to opposing the Iraq War, Mel has repeatedly demonstrated his remarkable leadership ability."