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Lansing — Michigan People's Campaign, a nonprofit group that works to promote economic and racial justice and endorsed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, is backing former Vice President Joe Biden in the general election.

On Friday, the Biden campaign rolled out the endorsement during a virtual discussion on racial equity, which featured Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

"A super majority of incarcerated citizens enter the system with mental health or addiction issues," said Ken Whittaker, director of movement politics at the Michigan People’s Campaign. "As president, Joe Biden, will expand mental health care and substance abuse funding."

In the Democratic presidential primary, Michigan People's Campaign endorsed Sanders, the self-defined democratic socialist from Vermont. The organization noted in a press release this week that it had the option of not endorsing anyone for president and focusing its efforts on candidates down the ballot. But Michigan People's Campaign said Biden supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage, up from the current federal rate of $7.25 an hour, and creating a public option for health care insurance.

The Biden campaign was "honored" to receive the endorsement, said Eric Hyers, Michigan state director for Biden for President.

"We’re thrilled to have them in our corner as we communicate with Michiganders about how Joe Biden can make their lives better and restore the soul of the nation," Hyers said in a statement.

Biden's general election opponent, President Donald Trump, received his own Michigan endorsement last week from the Police Officers Association of Michigan.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

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