NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller says that Edwards was invited to speak at the NAACP celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Columbia yesterday, but he backed out of the speech after other campaigns complained that he was the only presidential candidate speaking, according to his campaign. He was not listed as a speaker in the church's bulletin for the service. "Sen. Edwards was expected to speak at the service today [but] there was some anxiety and concern from the other campaigns that he was here and they were not. So, in an effort to make sure the service was focused on celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King and nothing else, we decided to honor Dr. King today and speak about his legacy tomorrow," explained Edwards spokeswoman Teresa Wells.
During the service Edwards sat in the front row with Rep. Leon Howard, an Edwards endorser and chair of the South Carolina legislature's black caucus. He was recognized from the podium when all of the elected officials and candidates were individually pointed out.
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