SC justice forum reconfigured after Harris’ withdrawal


Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris greets people following a rally a rally at Aiken High School in Aiken, S.C. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A criminal justice forum planned for Democratic presidential hopefuls in South Carolina has been reconfigured after Kamala Harris withdrew from the event, citing a lack of access for students at the historically black college in Columbia where it’s being held.

The city’s mayor, Steve Benjamin, tells The Associated Press he’s worked with Benedict College officials to coordinate what’s being called the Collegiate Bipartisan Presidential Forum, which he’ll host.

It’s taking the place of the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center event, though the original organizers say they still will have a role in Saturday’s activities.

The uproar began when California Sen. Harris pulled out of the forum late Friday, citing frustration over organizers’ decision to give President Donald Trump an award .

Soon after, the mayor said he would organize an alternative forum.

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