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Debate Prep

A section of Market Street is blocked off as the street currently houses production equipment for Wednesday's CNN Town Hall event. The live broadcast is to begin at 10 p.m. and will be hosted by CNN anchor Don Lemon and feature Sen. Cory Booker.

Wednesday night will not be Cory Booker’s last visit to Orangeburg.

The current U.S. senator from New Jersey and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is already slated to be downtown Wednesday night at Stevenson Auditorium as featured guest at a CNN Town Hall.

Orangeburg preps for potentially large crowds with CNN broadcast from Stevenson Auditorium

Now, it has been announced that he will be returning in a few months as a guest speaker.

Booker will deliver the commencement speech to the 2019 graduating class of South Carolina State University on Friday, May 10.

This will be Booker’s second occasion speaking to students, faculty and staff of the university.

In October 2018 prior to announcing his presidential candidacy, Booker held a forum on the university’s campus, emphasizing the impact today's youth can have on society when they use their voices for change.

Booker will also have an opportunity to speak to S.C. State students during the CNN Town Hall, as the university has a select number of tickets designated for students, faculty and staff.

Speaking in Orangeburg, Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke vows reforms

According to an official of the university, CNN provided an opportunity for 180 individuals from S.C. State to attend the event. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were asked to register online for a chance to participate. CNN is to determine final attendees and questions.

The university official also noted that CNN provided an opportunity for students (approximately 10-12) to assist as “runners” for the event.

Runners will assist the CNN team in the lead-up to productions by:

• Participating in the blocking process (establishing camera shots, audio, lighting).

• Running offsite errands/providing local knowledge to support last-minute crew needs.

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• Assisting with production tasks such as audience coordination.

Booker announced his campaign at the beginning of February, joining a wide field of candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination.

A native of Washington, D.C., Booker has dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been left out, left behind or left without a voice, the S.C. State press release states.

In 1996, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, and founded a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families, helping tenants take on slumlords, improve their living conditions and stay in their homes, the press release continues.

At age 29, Booker was elected to the Newark City Council, and beginning in 2006, he served as Newark's mayor for more than seven years, according to the press release.

The press release also notes that Booker was the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey. In the Senate, he has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and has underlined the importance of unity and fundamental American values.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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