Joe Darby, a prominent South Carolina pastor who leads the Nichols Chapel AME Zion church in Charleston, recently criticized the outreach of some Democratic presidential candidates in the state where six in 10 Democratic primary voters are black.
The criticism came just days before voters go to the polls on Feb. 29 and a day before the candidates are expected to make their case to the nation in a Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night.
Darby, in an interview with The Washington Post, said while candidates like former mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., who are both struggling to attract black voters might blame their struggles on things like a lack of money or name recognition, he believes the disconnect is due to a lack of their investment in the state as well as their understanding of the issues in the community.
“I finally got a call from someone on behalf of Amy Klobuchar, who wanted to talk to me. But my first question is going to be where have you been?” Darby told The Washington Post on Saturday.
He was also critical of their advertising in the state.
“The basic message to me is ‘Hello, I’m Pete Buttigieg, and I like black people. Clearly, black people like me too because I’m surrounded by them. Amy Klobuchar’s too,” Darby said. “I’m waiting for dashikis and the Afro wigs to come out.”
Darby noted that he has told voters seeking advice on the candidates to vote their conscience and measure how much each candidate has invested in the state.
“They know who’s been here and who hasn’t been here,” he said. “They know who’s alien and who’s familiar. They know who fell in love with the state recently and who has history. And I think they’ll respond accordingly.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair