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Charlotte (NYT)– The founder of Black Entertainment Television is warning Democrats that pushing Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) out of leadership means losing black voters.

Robert L. Johnson sent a letter to the House leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus underscoring why Clyburn should be whip over House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

To be clear, Johnson has no vote, and this leadership position will be determined by private ballot in a closed Democratic caucus meeting. But the Johnson letter seems to be more of a public relations effort on Clyburn’s behalf.

“He is a steadfast advocate for issues that have a direct impact on the African-American community, and his voice must remain at the forefront of the 112th Congress,” Johnson wrote. “To diminish his leadership role in Congress would run the risk of losing a significant part of the black vote, a decision the Democratic Party cannot afford at this most critical time in history.”

The letter from the country’s first black billionaire reminds Democrats that blacks have continuously backed them at the polls.

“Black voters are the strongest voting bloc and have continuously shown their dedication to the Democratic Party. As a constituency, African-Americans are engaged in our country’s political process now more than ever and Congressman Clyburn is the voice and face that we need to lead the Democratic Party in the Congress.”

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