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Biden, Buttigieg are keeping 2020 focus on South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden takes photos with supporters following the first rally of his 2020 campaign, Saturday, May 4, 2019 in Columbia, S.C Photo: AP/Meg Kinnard
Former Vice President Joe Biden takes photos with supporters following the first rally of his 2020 campaign, Saturday, May 4, 2019 in Columbia, S.C

May 05, 2019 08:21 AM

Democrat Joe Biden's visit to a South Carolina church Sunday is part of his 2020 presidential campaign's outreach to black voters, who play a pivotal role in the early-voting state's primary.

The former vice president is wrapping up his first stop in South Carolina since joining the packed field of Democrats by attending services in West Columbia. Biden told a crowd at a Columbia community center on Saturday that Jim Crow is "sneaking back in" as he emphasized the need to protect voting rights, an effort he said is lacking under the Trump administration.

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Pete Buttigieg plans a town hall in North Charleston, where African Americans account for nearly half the population. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has said he's making a conscious effort in his campaign to focus on issues important to black voters.

This past week he met with the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights leader, at the Harlem soul food restaurant Sylvia's. Buttigieg said Sharpton encouraged him "to engage with people who may not find their way to me who I need to go out and find my way in front of."

Iowa is the focus Sunday for former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. California Sen. Kamala Harris plans to attend an NAACP dinner in Detroit.

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Meg Kinnard/Associated Press

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