WikiLeaks hacked e-mail shows Mayor Steve Benjamin was on Clinton's VP list

Steve Benjamin (Source: City of Columbia)
Steve Benjamin (Source: City of Columbia)
Published: Oct. 18, 2016 at 3:57 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2016 at 11:00 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As journalists around the country continue to sift through the mound of hacked e-mails from a close confidant of Hillary Clinton, a curious name appears on one such e-mail from March 2016 about the Democratic nominee's short list for vice president.

The list of 39 names contains business leaders from Apple's Tim Cook to Microsoft's Bill Gates and well-known political figures such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Clinton's eventual pick, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

But, it appears Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was also on that list of names from Clinton confidant John Podesta.

Benjamin was listed among other known African-American politicians like Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

It is not known how far Benjamin got in the selection process or even if he was vetted by Clinton's team.

Benjamin released a statement hours after the news broke and said he was honored to have been on the list with "such impressive company," but that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to dominate the headlines.

"Secretary Clinton made an excellent choice in Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on this historic ticket," the statement said. "I pray that her focus remains on the American economy, eliminating poverty and defending the integrity of democratic elections in our great nation."

Benjamin went on to deliver a brief speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on how he hoped Clinton's election would inspire his two daughters.

While Benjamin said he plans to run for re-election, he tells WIS he'd be open to talking with the administration should Clinton win the White House.

"Working with President Obama over the last several years, I've been able to see the input that mayors can have on shaping the democracy," Benjamin said. "So, I'm excited about the job I have right now that the people of Columbia blessed me with. But I certainly would be open to talking to the Clinton administration about any way in which I could help further her agenda for continuing to revitalize the American economy and putting people back to work."

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