The City of Orangeburg is preparing for potentially large crowds surrounding next Wednesday’s political event.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, will be featured in a CNN Town Hall to be broadcast live at 10 p.m. from Stevenson Auditorium. It will be moderated by CNN anchor Don Lemon.
“We’re grateful for it. The way we look at it is it’s a great opportunity for the city and for our citizens to showcase Stevenson Auditorium, and it’s wonderful to showcase it in a national light,” Deputy City Administrator John Singh said.
Modifications have begun in the auditorium to accommodate the production aspects of the live broadcast.
“Every event is different. So you basically look at an event and adjust to what those needs are. In this case, the group that rented the auditorium, they pretty much take care of their needs. We’re just there to kind of facilitate,” Singh said.
“Just like any group that comes in … they’ll return the theater back to just like it was,” he said.
Singh said a section of Market Street will be blocked during the event.
“The only street that will be blocked is Market Street because they’ll have a tent and they’ll have production trucks and other things there. It will only be blocked from Middleton down to the parking lot entrance,” Singh said.
Singh said he believes the event will have a positive economic impact.
City officials, including Mayor Michael Butler and members of city council, have expressed excitement at the event being held here.
“There is an economic impact and it will be one that does leave a little imprint,” Singh said.
Booker has netted the first endorsement from a sitting S.C. lawmaker.
State Rep. John King told The Associated Press that he's chosen to back Booker because he feels that Booker's experience combating corruption as mayor of Newark will help him do the same for the country as president.
"He has spent his entire career running toward big challenges, so I sat long and hard and thought about who I wanted to support and who I feel would take this country in the right direction," King said. "Cory Booker is that guy."
Booker returns to South Carolina on Saturday for events in Columbia and Rock Hill, a city in King's district where he planned to join him.
In his sixth term in South Carolina's House, King is past chairman of the state's Legislative Black Caucus.
candidate to visit
Another 2020 Democratic presidential candidate will be visiting Orangeburg next week.
Author, activist and lecturer Marianne Williamson will be meeting with Orangeburg County Democratic Party officials for a conversation on issues important to the county and the country.
The event will take place at Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast & Event Venue located 1170 Fischer St. at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Williamson, who announced her 2020 presidential candidacy in January, was the first to discuss reparations for African Americans in this presidential campaign and it was part of her announcement speech, according to a press release from Williamson’s campaign.
The press release also noted that Williamson originally wrote about reparations in her book "Healing the Soul of America" in 1997.
"Marianne will engage with and answer questions from those that attend as she discusses her platform and hears from community members," the press release stated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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