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Clinton, O’Malley and Sanders coming to King Day in Columbia

AP

King Day at the Dome, again, will be a campaign stop for Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will attend the annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance Monday, their campaigns told The State.

Started in 2000 to protest the Confederate flag flying on the State House dome, King Day has drawn as many as 50,000 participants and as few as 1,000.

Eight years ago, the event also drew Democratic presidential candidates to the State House steps: then-U.S. Sens. Clinton and Barack Obama, and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

This year’s rally will focus on education, a top legislative issue as state lawmakers return to work this week to address a court order to improve the state’s rural, poor schools.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles and Vince Ford, the state NAACP’s education chair and a Richland 1 school board member, also will speak at Monday’s observance, said S.C. NAACP president Lonnie Randolph.

The rally at the S.C. State House will follow a morning prayer service and a march.

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