Democratic contest splits black voters
Jan 18,2008 00:00 by UPI
ATLANTA -- Black democrats in the southern United States appear to be having a hard time deciding between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Both Clinton and Obama have substantial claims to African-American support as the country prepares for primaries in five southern states later this month and early next month, The New York Times reported Friday.

The tension over the Democratic contest is so great in tiny Roanoake, Ala., for instance, that the People's Voice African-American Weekly News hasn't endorsed a candidate for the Feb. 5 primary.

Publisher Charlotte A. Clark-Frieson, who supports Barack Obama, D-Ill., told The Times her editorial board is split over the two frontrunners.

In Atlanta, the race between Clinton, D-N.Y., and Obama has caused divisions between longtime allies in the civil rights movement with the Rev. Joseph E. Lowry supporting Obama and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., backing Clinton.

"This is going to be another one of those watershed events in the black community," says Hank Sanders, an Alabama state senator and former president of a group that has endorsed Obama.

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