Kamala Harris, Jesse Jackson to make stops in Mich. ahead of primary

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Former Democratic presidential hopeful and California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday as civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. endorsed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

Harris said should would join Biden for a Monday campaign event in Detroit. Jackson stumped with Sanders Sunday afternoon at a stop in Grand Rapids.

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, of California

"One of the things that we need right now is we need a leader who really does care about the people and who can therefore unify the people," the California Democrat said in a video posted on Twitter. "And I believe that Joe can do that."

She concluded the video, "And come and hang out. We're going to be in Detroit Monday night."

Biden is scheduled to hold a "get out the vote" event at 7 p.m. Monday at Renaissance High School in Detroit on the eve of Michigan's primary election.

Six states hold their primaries Tuesday, but Michigan controls the most Democratic delegates of the states. Sanders has been focused on Michigan over the weekend, while Biden has sent in surrogates like former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Sanders held a rally in Detroit on Friday, a rally in Dearborn Saturday and a town hall on racial and economic injustice in Flint Saturday night. On Sunday, the senator visited Grand Rapids before holding an evening rally in Ann Arbor with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The democratic socialist picked up the endorsement of Jackson, who won Michigan's Democratic presidential caucuses as a progressive in 1988. 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson

"A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path," the founder and president of the Chicago-based Rainow PUSH Coalition said in a statement. "The most progressive social and economic path gives us the best chance to catch up and Sen. Bernie Sanders represents the most progressive path. That’s why I choose to endorse him today."

Jackson said the Biden campaign hadn't reached out for his support. But Sanders' campaign had and responded to the concerns his concerns, including giving the "highest consideration" to putting "an African-American woman on the presidential ticket," he said. 

Sanders has been looking to make gains among African American voters ahead of Michigan's primary election. In 2016, Sanders won the state's Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton by 1.4 percentage points. However, he lost Wayne County, the Michigan county with the largest African-American population, by more than 60,000 votes to Clinton.

Harris ended her campaign for the Democratic nomination in December. She had previously received the endorsement of the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus. The caucus is now supporting Biden.

Harris previously criticized Biden in a June debate over his opposition to a federal busing mandate. Harris said she was part of the second class of Berkeley, California, students to be voluntarily bused to a majority-white elementary school. Biden said he didn't "oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education."


Staff writer Leonard Fleming contributed.