Alabama Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and his allies are trying to finalize plans to bring in several high-profile current or former African American elected officials, including Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) to campaign for him this weekend, as he wages an aggressive final push to turn out black voters in a Tuesday special election with national stakes.
Rep. Terri 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, Booker, and Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.), according to Sewell’s spokesman, Chris MacKenzie, and a Jones campaign official.
A third Democrat, who was familiar with Booker’s plans and was granted anonymity to speak candidly, confirmed that he intends to campaign for Jones in Alabama.
Sewell is also trying to cement plans for former Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.), and Rep. Sanford Bishop (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 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.