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Civil rights hero John Lewis endorses Mike Capuano

US Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and civil rights legend, has endorsed Michael E. Capuano in his primary. AP FILE PHOTO

Congressman John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who has spent more than five decades fighting for civil rights in marches with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and in speeches and protests on the floor of the US House, is endorsing Representative Michael E. Capuano in his Democratic primary against Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley.

The endorsement is significant because of Lewis’ role in US history, but also because Capuano, who is white, faces Pressley, who is black, in a Boston-area district where the majority of residents are minorities.

“I know Mike Capuano as a champion and fierce advocate for those who have often been forgotten or left behind,” Lewis said in a statement released by the Capuano campaign. “Whether it’s income inequality, civil rights, gun control, health care, affordable housing, gender pay inequity, immigration or transportation, Mike has been a leader alongside those of us opposing the unfair and immoral polices of the Trump Administration.”

Lewis said Capuano knows President Trump’s policies are creating divisions and he’s been willing to “stand tall in opposing them.”


Lewis, who was first elected to Congress in 1986, said he has “come to deeply respect Mike Capuano for his leadership and courage on so many issues — that’s why I wholeheartedly support Mike for re-election and I stand with him in this campaign.”

Harvard University announced last month that Lewis would deliver this year’s commencement address.

Capuano, who has picked up the endorsements of the majority of his colleagues in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, was given a cold shoulder by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, and Representatives Niki Tsongas and Seth Moulton. None of them are endorsing in the primary race right now.

The Seventh District is made up of Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, and parts of Cambridge, Milton, and Boston.


The primary election is set for Sept. 4.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.