Five Democratic presidential hopefuls will headline a forum Friday and Saturday in Atlanta organized by black church leaders. So will hip-hop star Killer Mike, who is set to share the stage with several of the candidates on Saturday.
The Young Leaders Conference is expected to attract thousands of black millennials over two days at the Georgia International Convention Center, and will focus on how each candidate plans to engage African-American voters on criminal justice, gun control and other issues.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro are slated to speak on Friday at the event. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be interviewed onstage a day later.
Sanders will be accompanied by a special guest: Killer Mike, the Atlanta rapper and fierce supporter of the Vermont senator. Killer Mike, also known as Michael Render, made his political debut in 2015 at a Sanders event in Atlanta.
>> Election 2020: Georgia Presidential candidate visit tracker
The event is organized by Black Church PAC, a group of church groups that aims to elect “progressive leaders committed in ridding us of mass incarceration, voter suppression and gun violence.” It endorsed Stacey Abrams in last year’s gubernatorial race.
Mark Moore, Jr., the Atlanta-based pastor who is hosting the conference, said having five presidential candidates in attendance “demonstrates the inherent power and potential of our black church millennials and the unique appeal of our gathering.”
It is Warren’s second visit to Georgia since launching her presidential campaign. Ditto for Sanders, who swung by Augusta in May.
Buttigieg and Booker have each campaigned in Georgia twice before, according to the AJC’s presidential candidate visit tracker, and this is Castro’s first official trip to Georgia since announcing his 2020 bid.
The state has received attention from Democratic presidential hopefuls in ways it hasn’t seen in decades, triggered by Abrams’ near-miss in last year’s midterm and Democratic victories across the Atlanta suburbs.
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