Sen. Kamala Harris secured the much sought-after endorsement of former state Rep. Bakari Sellers on Monday as she continues to build relationships with elected officials and leaders in South Carolina ahead of her fourth visit to the critical early voting state this week.
At a town hall on Saturday at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, Sellers, a Denmark, South Carolina native, will campaign with Harris and formally declare his support for the California Democrat. On Friday, Harris will be back in the state for a town hall at Winthrop University in Rock Hill.
Given that the state is essential to her campaign for the nomination, Harris has made early investments there. Before making her presidential announcement and before she and her top surrogates had rallies across the state, Harris went to a gala for Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest black sorority in the country.
In the 2016 South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, nearly 4 in 10 voters were black women. Harris has been working to secure local endorsements, including those of state representative Pat Henegan of Marlboro, Berkeley County Democratic Party chair Melissa Watson, an attorney, and former gubernatorial candidate Marguerite Willis of Florence.
Sellers praised Harris’ attention to rural communities and her early platform, which focused on raising teacher pay, addressing the maternity mortality crisis, and supporting historically Black colleges and universities. Sellers will serve alongside state Sen. Darrell Jackson, Rep. JA Moore, and the others as co-chairs for Harris’ South Carolina campaign.
These problems are personal to me, and Kamala has consistently provided concise solutions for each of them, demonstrating that no topic or individual is too little to be taken seriously, according to Sellers.
Surrogates in South Carolina are in high demand.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey became the first 2020 Democrat to receive the support of a state legislator in that state, thanks to Rep. John King, who noted Booker’s prior experience against corruption as the mayor of Newark. Brady Quirk-Garvan, the former chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, quit his position and backed Booker.
At a gathering outside of Charleston on Saturday, Rep. Marvin Pendarvis endorsed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
This week, there will be a new wave of candidates running for office in South Carolina, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who will attend a town hall meeting in Spartanburg on Thursday. The Black Legislative Caucus is hosting Sanders’ presentation, which will center on education, criminal justice reform, and expunging criminal histories. On Friday in Greenville, the Vermont Independent will stage a rally.
In addition, Harris will be the featured speaker at an event hosted by the Orangeburg County Democratic Party and will meet with community and religious leaders in Holly Hill this weekend. She will then go to the Easter Sunday service at Columbia’s Bible Way Church.
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