Harris and Booker jostle for backing of black lawmakers

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The Congressional Black Caucus has emerged as an early battleground in the 2020 Democratic primary.

A behind-the-scenes scramble has broken out among Democratic White House hopefuls for support from members of the influential Congressional Black Caucus — a sign of the brewing battle for African-American voters.

Senators - Kamala - Harris - Cory - Booker

Two African-American senators, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, are aggressively courting black lawmakers as they look to build networks in key presidential voting states like South Carolina, Ohio and Michigan. Both showed up at the CBC’s weekly meeting on Wednesday. As Harris worked the room, Booker told at least two members that he would call them afterward, according to sources at the meeting.

But Joe Biden could complicate their plans: The former vice president is a longtime ally of the CBC and has been reaching out to veteran black lawmakers to talk about the race, according to multiple members.

POLITICO - Members - Caucus - Week - Race

POLITICO interviewed 15 members of the 55-member caucus over the past week about the 2020 race. Each said they have been contacted by at least one announced or likely Democratic candidate; some had heard from multiple potential contenders.

African-American and minority voters are poised to play an outsize role in determining the Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump next year. In addition to their clout on Capitol Hill, CBC members can be powerful surrogates in their home states — able to deliver financial and organizational support from union heads, state party chairs and other elected officials.

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That means CBC member endorsements could be especially valuable in what already is shaping up to be a crowded primary.

"Issues that are important to African-Americans are going to be at the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: POLITICO
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