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Hilda Solis, first Latina Cabinet secretary, endorses Biden for president

As many of the 2020 Democratic candidates descended on San Francisco for the state's party convention, former Vice President Joe Biden — who skipped the convention — picked up a new endorsement, former Labor secretary and current Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.   

"I have seen firsthand what true leadership requires," Solis, who was the first Latina Cabinet member when she served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013, said in a statement to CBS News. "At this moment in American history, it is clear that Joe Biden has all the qualities that the American people need in the White House."

California is a new battleground for Democrats since the delegate-rich state will vote on Super Tuesday, earlier than in previous year's primary process. This weekend's convention is the largest gathering of Democratic presidential candidates so far this year with at least 14 slated to appear. Biden, however, is planning to speak at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Columbus, Ohio.

Sen. Kamala Harris, flexing her home state popularity, announced Friday that 33 Democrats in California's Assembly — a majority of Democrats — are supporting her. But Harris' California colleague, longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has already stated her support for Biden.

Even though Biden himself will not be in California, his campaign says they are competing to win and are not ceding the Golden State to anyone. Solis and two Biden senior campaign advisors, Cristobal Alex and Symone Sanders, are in the state this weekend to hold "private" meetings with California Democratic elected officials and financial bundlers, according to a message obtained by CBS News from a person familiar with the meetings.

"[Biden] will soon return to California to meet with voters, learn firsthand about their concerns, and compete strongly in the state," the message reads.

Solis, 61, who is also a former four-term congresswoman is lauded as a Latina leader nationwide and underscored how important support is from the state's nearly 15 million Hispanics, according to Pew Research Center.

Biden's "humble roots" in a working-class family "resonates with the Latino community because we also value our families, we make great sacrifices," Solis said in an interview.

She added the Trump administration's immigration policies are "sending a very strong message to our community, the Latino community, to come out and fight and do it through your vote...and I know Joe Biden knows that better than anybody." 

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