Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and his allies are finalizing plans to bring in several high-profile current or former African American elected officials, including Sen. Cory Booker, to campaign for him this weekend in Alabama as he wages an aggressive final push to turn out black voters in a Tuesday special election with national stakes.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) has been leading the effort to organize a slate of Sunday campaign events including a rally in Birmingham that is expected include her, Jones, Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), according to Sewell spokesman, Chris MacKenzie and a Jones campaign official.
A third Democrat who was familiar with Booker’s plans confirmed that he intends to campaign for Jones in Alabama.
Former Massachusetts Democratic governor Deval Patrick also plans to campaign for Jones in Alabama, according to his former chief of staff, Doug Rubin.
Sewell is also trying to cement plans for Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) and Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) to campaign for Jones on Sunday, MacKenzie and the campaign official said.
The specific events and attendees are not yet final, MacKenzie and the Jones official said. They hope to have the details ironed out by Friday.
“Terri Sewell has invited some of her friends and colleagues down to help, and we look forward to the weekend,” said Giles Perkins, the chairman of the Jones campaign.
Jones has been trying to piece together a delicate coalition built on support from core Democrats and some crossover votes from Republicans not drawn to their party nominee, Roy Moore. Crucial to that plan is strong turnout by African Americans, who make up about a quarter of Alabama’s electorate.
In recent weeks, however, African American elected officials, community leaders and voters have expressed concern that there has not been much energy in the black community for Jones or the special election.
Recent polls show a competitive contest between Jones and Moore. While Moore has come under criticism from Senate GOP leaders amid allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his 30s, he has the support of President Trump and the Republican National Committee.
Moore has denied the allegations he has faced.
Trump will travel Friday to Pensacola, Fla., just across the state’s border with Alabama. There, he could encourage Alabamians to turn out for Moore.
Aides to Booker, Patrick, Richmond, Bishop and Lewis did not immediately comment.
Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.
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