Black Democratic leaders will visit Alabama to help Doug Jones

Several top-tier African-American Democratic lawmakers will descend on Alabama this weekend to rally supporters for D...

Posted: Dec 10, 2017 6:00 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2017 6:00 AM

Several top-tier African-American Democratic lawmakers will descend on Alabama this weekend to rally supporters for Doug Jones ahead of the Senate special election Tuesday -- a rarity for a campaign that has sought to maintain a distinctly local flavor.

The effort is being spearheaded by Rep. Terri Sewell, the sole Democrat among Alabama's congressional delegation. Joining her will be Reps. John Lewis of Georgia, Sanford Bishop of Georgia and Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Rep. John Lewis is among those visiting to back Jones against Roy Moore

Jones needs to boost African-American turnout if he is to win

RELATED: Doug Jones seeks Obama-level black turnout

They will fan out across the state, with events slated for Sunday in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville and Selma. Booker is also scheduled for stops Saturday in Montgomery and Tuskegee.

Those events will be aimed at turning out African-American voters, who polling suggests would overwhelmingly support Jones -- if they vote.

Southern Democrats have recently struggled with African-American turnout in elections without Barack Obama on the ballot, and encouraging voter participation is challenging overall in a special election.

As they aim to energize African-American voters, however, appearances by a slate of Democrats with national profiles could also fuel attacks on Jones, who Republican Roy Moore's campaign has sought to portray as a pawn of the national Democratic Party. Moore tweeted Friday that he faces attacks from "the powerful Obama-Clinton Machine" backing Jones.

Wary of that line of attack, national Democrats have kept Jones at arm's length, with high-wattage party surrogates remaining benched. Sewell's efforts mark a departure from that approach, although she sought to recruit colleagues who would have some connection to Alabama or the voters there, her office said.

"Rep. Sewell wants to bring leaders down to Alabama who have a history in the state and who can speak to the concerns of Alabama voters," said her spokesman Chris MacKenzie.

Lewis, MacKenzie added, is a "perfect example: He was a leader of the voting rights movement in Alabama, and everyone knows his name in Representative Sewell's district."

Lewis is skipping a previously scheduled appearance at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum due to the planned attendance of President Donald Trump.

Other surrogates are more loosely tied to Alabama: Booker was included because of his commitment to criminal justice reform, an issue Sewell believes is of particular interest to voters in Alabama.

Patrick's participation was not coordinated by Sewell; instead, the former governor accepted an invitation from Sewell's constituents in Perry County, Alabama, MacKenzie said.

Bringing in such national Democratic surrogates is "high-risk, high-reward," said David Mowery, an Alabama political consultant. "It gives people a reason to say, 'This guy says he's a moderate, but look who he's truckin' with.' "

But Democrats will need to see extremely high turnout from African-American voters for Jones to win, Mowery added. "The calculus is very, very difficult," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 818652

Reported Deaths: 15378
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147091924
Mobile724971336
Madison52231697
Shelby37575349
Baldwin37224549
Tuscaloosa35073612
Montgomery34092739
Lee23519246
Calhoun22221482
Morgan20910378
Etowah19816498
Marshall18338303
Houston17360412
St. Clair16034339
Cullman15406293
Limestone15328199
Elmore15186286
Lauderdale14270295
Talladega13827281
DeKalb12637261
Walker11180370
Blount10179176
Autauga9967148
Jackson9860183
Coffee9205191
Dale8884185
Colbert8840201
Tallapoosa7079198
Escambia6766132
Covington6706183
Chilton6633161
Russell635259
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion4995126
Dallas4949200
Pike4791105
Clarke475484
Geneva4568127
Winston4507103
Lawrence4309117
Bibb424686
Barbour357576
Marengo337890
Monroe331463
Randolph329864
Butler325896
Pickens315682
Henry311966
Hale311188
Cherokee302360
Fayette292379
Washington251351
Cleburne247460
Crenshaw244875
Clay243068
Macon234163
Lamar223347
Conecuh185953
Coosa180040
Lowndes174764
Wilcox168739
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132938
Greene126644
Choctaw88227
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Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
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