Bernie Sanders schedules stops in historic Columbia neighborhoods in return to SC

In a return visit to South Carolina this weekend, U.S. senator and 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will visit a prominent African American church and campaign in two historic black neighborhoods in Columbia.

The Vermont Independent and democratic socialist will be focusing on his economic, racial, social and environmental policies during several stops in Columbia, according to a statement from his campaign.

Sanders will kick off his trip Saturday night by hosting a basketball tournament at Allen University. The tournament will be co-hosted y the Allen University Student Government Association, and will begin at 3 p.m. Sanders will not be playing on a team, but he may shoot a few hoops, campaign officials said.

Later, Sanders will take questions from members of the Working Families Party, according to a statement from the group.

On Sunday, Sanders will attend a lunch at Brookland Baptist Church. The event is open to the public, and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

At 1 p.m., Sanders will do a walking tour of the Booker Washington Heights neighborhood. The tour is co-hosted by the South Carolina Democratic Party Black Caucus.

An hour later, Sanders will hold a town hall meeting at the Greenview Park Gym, located in another historic Columbia neighborhood. He will be accompanied by Sen. Nina Turner, Phillip Agnew, State Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

At 3:30 p.m., Sanders will be hosting a block party in Hopkins. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for the event online.

Sanders’ schedule shows an emphasis on reaching South Carolina’s black voters, which make up about two-thirds of the Palmetto State’s Democratic primary voters. During the 2016 election, Sanders sorely failed to resonate with those voters; Hillary Clinton won over 86 percent of black voters, according to exit polls.

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Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.